The vote to halt a second discriminatory bill filed in the House is a win for transgender students and the hundreds of South Carolinians who have mobilized to support trans youth this year.
Yesterday, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee voted down H.4153, a bill that would prohibit transgender youth in middle and high school from participating in student athletics. Today’s vote marks the third time nearly identical measures have been rejected in the 2021 legislative session – first on March 16 when the House Judiciary Committee tabled H.3477 and then again when lawmakers’ attempt to include an anti-transgender proviso in the South Carolina budget was defeated. This vote marks another major step forward in the ongoing fight against anti-LGBTQ policies in South Carolina.
SC United for Justice & Equality released this statement about this step forward:
“We are relieved and grateful that, once again, lawmakers have rejected their colleagues’ blatant attempts to discriminate against transgender student athletes. Today’s vote sends the message that H.4153 – just like its predecessor, H.3477 – and any other bill that discriminates against transgender people has no place in South Carolina.”
For months, transgender young people and the many South Carolinians who love them have been making their voices heard to oppose these discriminatory bills, and we won’t stop until we have ensured a South Carolina where trans students are included, affirmed, and afforded the same opportunities as any other student. Every South Carolinian deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, and we will remain vigilant until that day comes.”
As South Carolina’s 2021 legislative session comes to a close, several other anti-transgender bills remain pending. Last month, a companion bill to H.4153 and H.3477 was introduced in the Senate, where it remains in committee. In March, 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. These bills could be reconsidered in 2022.
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