News

Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) Files Discriminatory Bathroom Bill

April 10, 2016

SC Equality Calls S.1203 “An Embarrassment To Our State”. Columbia, SC – Today, Senator Lee Bright (R-Greenville) filed a bill (S.1203) similar to a new North Carolina Law that bars transgender citizens from using the bathroom associated with their gender identity. SC Equality, the state’s largest LGBT rights group, calls on members of the South Carolina Senate to not take up this discriminatory bill and risk the economic backlash that North Carolina is currently experiencing. Many conservatives are proactively seeking ways to discriminate against the LGBT community by misusing the legislative process. Recent polls show that the window for singling out transgender people is closing, and the results are acts of desperation. “This law is sheer government overreach and it opens a Pandora’s box,” said Jeff Ayers, Executive Director of South Carolina Equality. “Will people need to carry their birth certificates to use the restroom? Will we see DNA testing? Gender inspections/anatomy checks and pat downs? Body scanners? Video cameras? Government simply has no place in our bathrooms” This proposed law is unnecessary. We already have laws in place that make it illegal for anyone to enter a restroom to harm or harass people, or invade their privacy. Police already use these laws to keep people safe, make arrests, and hold criminals accountable. All of us know what it’s like to urgently need to use the restroom. But this law is designed to make it impossible for transgender people to go about their daily lives like other people. For example, a transgender woman who was born a boy but has lived her entire adult life as a woman would risk harassment and violence if she used the men’s room, but would be subject to arrest if she used the women’s room. Ayers noted that we all care about safety in restrooms, which is why it’s important to know that allowing transgender people to use the restroom that matches the gender they live everyday doesn’t compromise that. “In fact, more than 200 cities and 17 states across the U.S. have passed and successfully implemented laws that protect transgender people from discrimination in public places, with no increase in public safety incidents.” said Ayers. “The idea that men would pretend to be transgender to sneak into a women’s restroom has been debunked by law enforcement experts, government officials and women’s safety advocates in cities and states across the country”.