Home / LGBTQ / South Carolina Imitates N.C.’s Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill In New Legislation, Despite Controversy And Pressure From Business Leaders
A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files
A gender-neutral bathroom is seen at the University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

South Carolina Imitates N.C.’s Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill In New Legislation, Despite Controversy And Pressure From Business Leaders

South Carolina has followed Mississippi, whose governor signed a similar bill on Tuesday, in an attempt to become the latest state to force transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.

Other “bathroom bills” were vetoed last week by the governors of Georgia and Virginia, while North Carolina is still embroiled in controversy over the anti-anti-discrimination bill which affects LGBT people it rushed through state government two weeks ago.

Citizens, activists and over 130 CEOs of large companies such as Bank of America and American Airlines have called for N.C. mayor Pat McCrory to repeal HB 2, which bars municipal governments such as Charlotte from passing anti-discrimination measures based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The new legislation in South Carolina, S. 1203, was proposed in the state Senate on Wednesday would also ban local governments from protecting transgender individuals seeking to use bathrooms based on their gender identity

“I’ve about had enough of this,” S.C. Republican Senator Lee Bright, the bill’s sponsor said. “I mean, years ago we kept talking about tolerance, tolerance, and tolerance, and now they want men who claim to be women to be able to go into bathrooms with children. And you got corporations who say this is okay.”

“Men should use the men’s room, and women should use the women’s room – that’s just common sense,” Bright said. “North Carolina is getting so much flak over what is common sense.”

S. 1203 calls for the following:

Units of local government in this State may not enact local laws, ordinances, orders, or other regulations that require a place of public accommodation or a private club or other establishment not in fact open to the general public to allow a person to use a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility regardless of the person’s biological sex. A local law, ordinance, order, or other regulation enacted by a unit of local government to require a person to use a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility designated for his biological sex is not a violation of this chapter and does not constitute discrimination based upon a protected category.

Bright’s bill defines ‘biological sex’ as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”

Republican Governor Nikki Haley, however, has stated that the bill doesn’t add anything new to the state, which passed a law in 1999 covering the same parameters.

“What I will tell you is in South Carolina, we are blessed because we don’t have to mandate respect or kindness or responsibility in this state,” Haley said. “And so I’ll tell you that law has worked perfectly. I don’t know of any example that we’ve had a problem on and South Carolina is going to continue to focus on ethics and on roads and on jobs and on all of those things because we think we’ve got that part covered.”

About Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY. She is owned by two blind cats. Tweet at her @rebeccalawrence

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