South Carolina may follow in the footsteps of North Carolina as Republicans in the state legislature have introduced a bill to criminalize transgender bathroom use.
State Senators Bright, Bryant, and Martin sponsored Senate Bill 1203 yesterday which has been referred to committee.
The bill reads in part:
(a) 'Biological sex' means the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate.
(b) 'Multiple occupancy bathroom' or 'changing facility' means a facility designed or designated to be used by more than one person at a time where persons may be in various states of undress in the presence of other persons. A multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility may include, but is not limited to, a restroom, locker room, changing room, or shower room.
(c) 'Single occupancy bathroom' or 'changing facility' means a facility designed or designated to be used by only one person at a time where students may be in various states of undress. A single occupancy bathroom or changing facility may include, but is not limited to, a single stall restroom designated as unisex or for use based on biological sex.
(2) 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.
Like their counterparts in North Carolina, lawmakers in South Carolina want to explicitly prohibit cities from enacting their own anti-discrimination ordinances; because Republicans love Big Government as long as they're the ones who control it.
Just as it has never been clear before, it still isn't clear how these laws against transgender bathroom use will be enforced. Will someone be assigned to monitor restrooms for people who may look like they might be transgender? Who will judge that? Will the suspects be asked to lift up their skirt? Will they be asked to produce their birth certificate? What if they aren't transgender? What if they've undergone reassignment surgery but their birth certificate has not be altered?
Do South Carolina lawmakers really believe transgender men belong in a restroom with women? It's a relevant question because that's what this could lead to. Conservative lawmakers regularly express their concern that "men" are using the wrong restroom, but the existence of transgender men never crosses their mind. Would they even recognize a transgender man if they saw one? Probably not.
Like other states, South Carolina stands to lose billions of dollars in federal funding for violating Title IX if this law is passed. The state will also open itself up to numerous lawsuits.