Set clock back 80 years.

Republicans in the North Carolina legislature have been awfully busy pursuing a very important culture war agenda this week. They've introduced one bill that would replicate much of Arkansas's ban on gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender minors, but also add a lot of other crap to somehow make it even more punitive for trans kids. And separately, other Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would require public schools provide "balanced political discussions in classrooms," which should just make lesson planning a real breeze. Oh, but that one wouldn't apply to charter schools, which get public funding but apparently don't need to meet Republicans' notions of "balance."

Let's see what kind of tar these heels have stepped in this time!

The worser of the two bills would forbid medical professionals from providing minors with any treatment that might "facilitate a transgender person's desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex," because clearly Republican legislators know what's good for trans kids, even when they're no longer kids anymore. The North Carolina bill actually manages to be worse than the one Arkansas just passed, because it defines adults aged 18 to 21 as "minors" for the purpose of making sure they can't get gender-confirming healthcare.

Healthcare providers could have their licenses revoked and be hit with civil fines of up to $1,000 per instance if they break the law by providing hormone treatments, puberty blockers, or surgery. Gee, North Carolina, why not make it a criminal offense too, so healthcare providers can be locked up as well?

And as has been the case with a lot of these dumb laws, the bill inaccurately states that doctors are "aggressively pushing for interventions on minors that medically alter the child's hormonal balance and remove healthy external and internal sex organs," although in mere reality, gender reassignment surgery just plain isn't recommended or performed until patients are at least 18. But perhaps if you redefine "children" to include a bunch of adults, the bill magically becomes accurate.

The bill even dragoons state employees into pushing the legislators' hate agenda, with a provision that would


compel state employees to immediately notify parents in writing if their child displays "gender nonconformity" or expresses a desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Nothing like adding one more source of stress to kids who are already face higher rates of bullying, hate crimes, and suicide. Now they can worry about whether a teacher will rat them out. That must be why the sponsors named it the "Youth Health Protection Act."

And while the bill would ban medical treatment that would help trans kids, the sponsors are fine with the genuinely damaging "pray the gay away" therapy, and included another provision that would prevent the state and licensing boards from banning it or from taking any action against providers of "therapies" that are grounded in someone's religious beliefs or conscience. Wow, they really are determined to protect the youths!

We imagine that for their next act, the bill's trio of Republican sponsors will prohibit the state's historical museums from referring to the Wright Brothers' first gliders and powered aircraft as biplanes.

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of the Campaign for Southern Equality said the whole thing was a terrible idea because "Transgender youth have the best chance to thrive when they are supported and affirmed, not singled out and denied critical care that is backed by virtually every leading health authority," but she went to Harvard Divinity School, "served on the Biden Foundation's Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality," and is even married to another lady, so what would she know about making kids straighten up?

In the other great North Carolina Culture War bill, a different crowd of GOP legislators have introduced a bill requiring schools to be fair and balanced, just like Fox News never was before it finally dropped that slogan years ago. That stinking turd of a bill would mandate that

When the viewpoint of one of the two major political parties in the United States is presented through materials, assignments, lectures, or other instruments for instruction in any classroom or other area of the school, the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.

The bill arose out of a ruckus over the state's social studies standards, which angered conservatives by suggesting that racism has somehow been a factor in US history at any time ever. Why, the standards would even teach innocent eighth graders about how "the experiences and achievements of women, minorities, indigenous and marginalized groups have contributed to the development of the state and nation over time," which sounded like leftist indoctrination to a lot of North Carolina leaders, including Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican.

It's not entirely clear how exactly the "balance" bill would determine whether lessons were sufficiently balanced, although we can certainly see it getting confusing awfully fast, even on the question of what exactly is the viewpoint of the opposing political party. Would any mention of President Joe Biden have to be balanced with "But about half of Republicans say he's not really president"? Would science classes have to point out that large portions of one party reject the very idea that science is real?

And just for shits and giggles, charter schools, which are funded by the state, would be exempt from any such "balance" requirements, because reasons.

In conclusion, this is a good day to remind you that Gov. Roy Cooper is a Democrat, and that may be of some real help, real soon, the end.

[NBC News / "Youth Health Protection Act" draft / Charlotte News & Observer / "Balanced Political Discussion in Classrooms" Act]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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