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NC Legislature overrides governor's vetoes, protects women, children, parents

Wednesday, Aug 16, 2023

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp, director of the ADF Center for Legislative Advocacy, regarding the North Carolina Legislature’s override Wednesday of three bills vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper: H. 574, a bill that protects opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring they are not forced to compete against males playing on women’s sports teams; H. 808, a bill that protects children from dangerous, life-altering “gender transition” medical procedures, and S. 49, a bill that protects parents’ rights and transparency in their children’s education:

“We commend the North Carolina Legislature for overriding the governor’s misguided vetoes. In doing so, they are securing a level playing field for North Carolina’s female athletes, protecting children from life-altering, experimental ‘gender transition’ surgeries and drugs, and preserving parents’ right to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children.

“When the law ignores biological differences, women and girls bear the brunt of the harm. As we continue to witness increasing incidents nationwide of males dominating girls’ athletic competitions, it’s imperative to affirm that biology, not identity, is what matters in athletics. North Carolina now joins the 22 other states that have acted to preserve fair competition for all female athletes, ensuring they will not face the losses that come with allowing males to compete in women’s sports.

“Denying the truth that we are either male or female also hurts vulnerable children. Young people deserve to live in a society that doesn’t subject them to life-altering, experimental ‘gender transition’ drugs and surgeries that have not been proven to be safe or effective and can result in permanent sterilization. That’s why other countries—like Sweden, England, and Finland—are reversing course to curtail the use of dangerous ‘gender transition’ procedures and better protect children from the bad science that has already devastated countless lives.

“By overriding the governor’s veto, the Legislature also ensured North Carolina parents have greater access to the curriculum, policies, and information that affects their children. Public schools have no right to shut parents out of their child’s education and development. This legislation makes clear that the government cannot interfere with parents’ right to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Matt Sharp

Matt Sharp serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Public Policy. In this role, he leads ADF's team of policy experts as they craft legislation and advise government officials on policies that promote free speech, religious freedom, parental rights, and the sanctity of human life. Since joining ADF in 2010, Sharp has authored federal and state legislation, regularly provides testimony and legal analysis on how proposed legislation will impact constitutional freedoms, and advises governors, legislators, and state and national policy organizations on the importance of laws and policies that protect First Amendment rights. He has twice testified before the U.S. Congress on the importance of protecting free speech and religious liberty in federal law. Sharp also authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 9,000 students, parents, and community members asking the court to uphold students’ right to privacy against government intrusion. Sharp earned his J.D. in 2006 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. A member of the bar in Georgia and Tennessee, he is also admitted to practice in several federal courts.