New charter school bill passed, protections for North Carolina LGBT students dropped

LGBT students will no longer be protected in North Carolina charter schools after the state’s House of Representatives approved new legislation that does not prohibit charter schools from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The new bill, which was passed last Friday, stripped language from prior versions that used to specifically call for protections for LGBT students. According to NC Policy Watch, the bill clearly states that charter schools shall not discriminate against students on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.

Last month during a debate on the proposal to this bill, Representative Paul Stam compared homosexuality to pedophilia, incest, sadism and masochism. However, the House approved the changes to the charter school law.

Representative Marcus Brandon, the only openly LGBT member of the North Carolina General Assembly, argued that the LGBT community is not protected in North Carolina. The language used in the bill was drawn from language in a state law that protects all students, but LGBT students are not specifically mentioned in the bill.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate before it is brought to the Governor.