Wednesday, April 20, 2016

SC businesses speak out against anti-transgender bill, sponsor still trying to force it through legislature

So many folks don't want Bright's bill to become law, but he doesn't care.

You can now officially mark various South Carolina businesses in the column with Gov. Haley, the lgbt community, Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, the mayors from Greenwood, Florence, and Columbia, and US attorney Bill Nettles,  and various others opposing State Sen. Lee Bright's anti-transgender "bathroom bill."

According to the Wednesday edition of  The State newspaper:

A dozen S.C. business groups sent a letter Tuesday to the General Assembly asking legislators to halt consideration of a controversial Senate bill that would ban transgender men and women from using the bathrooms of their choice.

“The Palmetto State has built a reputation as a welcoming place for world-class companies to call home. People are taking notice of South Carolina for all the right reasons,” said the letter signed by “The South Carolina Business Community.” If the bill moves forward, “make no mistake that it will have direct impact on South Carolina jobs and job prospects.”

North Carolina has been hit with boycotts by businesses and musical acts since passing a similar law last month.

 The groups signing Tuesday’s letter included statewide organizations — the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Manufacturers Alliance, S.C. Economic Developers Association and S.C. Hospital Association — as well as chambers of commerce in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Greenville, Greenwood, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg.

Unfortunately, Sen. Bright, the bill's sponsor, seems to be deliberately oblivious to this letter as he was to the emotional testimony (particularly from transgender youth) against the bill  in committee last week or Gov. Haley's disapproval of the bill.

According to an April 18th issue of The State, Bright is attempting to force the bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote via secret poll vote of the General Committee. He claimed today to be only three votes shy. He also told The State that he is hoping that a bill similar to his will be introduced in the House so that either his or that particular bill wins approval in one of SC's legislative bodies before the May 1 deadline.

However, there are still speed bumps. Democratic Sen. Joel Lourie has already said he would do everything in his power to stop Bright's bill. And according to the April 18th issue of The State, another senator, Marlon Kimpson, said that he will be placing a minority report on the bill, which would stop it without a  unanimous Senate vote.

One would think that with so much opposition to this bill, Bright would realize that perhaps the issue of transgender women using the ladies bathroom isn't as much of a crisis issue as he has made it out to be.

Of course, one would also suspect that Bright already knows this and is pushing this bill strictly for the sake of homophobic animus and possibly shoring up his base for possibly a tough re-election campaign against three opponents who have already voiced disapproval of his bill.

Of all of the cases of these "bathroom bills" which are popping up around the country, this one in SC has to be  the most transparent

In the supposed interest of safety and "Christian values," a legislator with not necessarily Christian motives is pushing a bill  which  has been called "unenforceable," very few want, no one needs,  and in the long run, will  do  harm to a bunch of innocent people whose only "crime" is the desire to live their lives authentically.

It would be a wonderful drama expect for two things - it's unfortunately too real and one of the possible endings scare me.

  . . .;

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