Tuesday, July 16, 2024
LGBTQ+ Rights

South Carolina House Judiciary Committee tables anti-transgender student athletics bill

The vote to halt the discriminatory bill in the House is a win for transgender students and the hundreds of South Carolinians who have mobilized to support trans youth this year.

The South Carolina House Judiciary Committee has voted to table H.3477, a bill that would prohibit transgender youth in middle and high school from participating in student athletics. The vote marks a major step toward the defeat of the bill – and a step forward in the ongoing fight against anti-LGBTQ policies in South Carolina. SC United for Justice & Equality released this statement applauding the vote:

“For weeks transgender young people and the many South Carolinians who love them have been making their voices heard to oppose discriminatory bills – and today, we’re relieved to see the House Judiciary Committee do the right thing by tabling H.3477. This bill – and any other bill that discriminates against transgender people has no place in South Carolina. Trans youth should be included, affirmed, and be afforded the same opportunities as any other student.”

Ivy Hill (they/them pronouns), a leader in SC United, and the Executive Director of Gender Benders and the Community Health Program Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality said:

“As a lifelong South Carolinian and a trans person, I’m relieved that the committee voted to table this bill, and I’m grateful for the many concerned residents who have given up their time this year to speak out about the bill’s myriad dangers. A rich chorus of voices testified over the last couple of weeks and showed the strength of South Carolinians united against oppressive anti-transgender policies. Although this year’s conversation around H.3477 has sent a poisonous message across the state, our collective message today was a powerful reminder to trans youth: That they are loved, cared for, and supported.”

Ryan Wilson (he/him pronouns) is Associate Regional Campaign Director for the Human Rights Campaign said:

“The members of the committee made the right decision today to halt H.3477, which even the bill’s sponsor admitted that this hasn’t been an issue in South Carolina. Transgender kids have played sports consistent with their gender identity for a long time and trans youth deserve the same chances to participate in athletics. They deserve to play sports, to make friends, and to learn teamwork as any other youth in South Carolina.”

Other anti-transgender bills are pending in South Carolina. A companion bill to H.3477 has been introduced in the Senate chamber and remains in committee. Last week, lawmakers introduced H.4047, which would prohibit transgender people under the age of 18 from receiving essential medical care and create a school climate where they are unable to be themselves. The bill would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to transgender minors. Conviction could result in up to a 20-year prison sentence for the medical provider.

SC United for Justice & Equality, a coalition of more than 30 organizations committed to LGBTQ equality in SC, is working against the bill. Advocates from the SC United for Justice & Equality coalition are available to speak with media about the legislation and its damaging impact on transgender youth. 

Learn more at www.SouthCarolinaUnited.org/Trans-Athletes

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