Big Republican Government LGBT

South Carolina Republicans Introduce Their Own Anti-Transgender “Bathroom Bill”

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.

  • muselet

    One side of my family spent generations—my mom traced that line of the family back to the early 19th century before she lost the trail—in the Deep South. Generations of poor whites moving around the South, working as tenant farmers and, later, sharecroppers, always renting a house and land, never owning a pot to piss in. Finally, my great-grandparents’ generation decided enough was enough and escaped to Texas, where they could buy a patch of dirt to call their own. (My grandparents made the decision to push on to California, for which I am eternally grateful.)

    As someone who is one-half Cracker-American, I have something to say to the legislators pushing these anti-trans bills:

    You have certainly shared public facilities with gay people, and my five bucks says you’ve shared public facilities with at least one trans person. So has your wife, and so have two of your three mistresses. And none of you has been groped or leered at or attacked.

    Besides which, the fear and hatred you feel and which you’re trying to gin up for electoral gain is exhausting. Maintaining that level of rage is worse for your health than your morning biscuits and gravy. Take a deep breath—or a double bourbon, if you find that more effective—and relax. You have, more or less, managed to accept that black folks are fully human; accepting people from the QUILTBAG is nothing different from that.

    You’re giving rednecks and peckerwoods and assorted good ol’ boys a bad name—well, a worse name, if I’m honest—with this foolishness. Stop. Just stop.


    • LOL “two of your three mistresses”…he who sins the most throw the biggest rocks, don’t they?

      • Victor the Crab

        Wouldn’t surprise me if one of his lovers was a twentysomething twink.

  • Someone very close to me came out of the closet recently and she has expressed some feelings about gender dysmorphia. She cut her hair boyishly short and has begun buying and wearing men’s clothes. Because she is slender and small, no real curves to speak of, she gets mistaken for a young man ALL the time at restaurants, stores and particularly in restrooms. In just the last few months she has lost count of the number of times she’s gotten strange looks from women in the bathroom who think she is a man and in the wrong place. She obviously doesn’t identify enough as male to want to use the men’s bathroom and hasn’t taken any other steps to change her gender, simply her appearance. But even that is enough to cause others confusion and fear. She would be horrified to be forced to go into the men’s bathroom but she is getting lots of signals that she isn’t welcome in the women’s either. I’m very worried about eventual confrontations and these stupid laws make me worry for her safety if she should travel to any of these states where such laws exist. The way to solve this problem is to make all bathrooms unisex and make the stalls more secure. Then no one has to give a shit about what parts people do or do not have. I swear if anyone touches her and tries to identify what bathroom she is allowed to use I will tear them apart with my bare hands. I never thought I would live to see the day that my country would devolve to such hate. It feels like we’re digressing, not progressing as a nation.

    • JMAshby

      Right. She or he, however they identify, isn’t a harm to anyone but Republicans are enabling and encouraging exactly what you’re concerned about. I can’t agree, however, that all bathrooms should be unisex. I think that in itself is a way of erasing identity. That’s obviously not your intent but I think that is the effect.

      • muselet

        The Kroger store in Athens, Georgia, has followed the lead of Pure Pizza in Charlotte, North Carolina, in providing gender-neutral bathrooms for perfectly sensible reasons.

        I don’t expect the world will come to an end as a result.

        Of course, the truly reasonable thing to do is to let people use the public toilets that match their gender identification, sort of like everyone did before the Right decided trans people were the new Worst Thing Ever.


      • Yeah, and I wouldn’t be comfortable with unisex bathrooms myself. Clearly it’s a morality based judgement they’re making. And there has to be some fear at the root of it. The irony is that transgenders, from everything I have seen, want desperately to pass as whatever gender they chose to identify with. The very LAST thing they’d want to do would be to draw attention to themselves in a restroom. To them, to use a restroom they weren’t “born” to use and have no one notice or complain is a triumph. So I have to ask, what are these Christianists afraid of? If they’re afraid of straight males dressing up as women and using women’s bathrooms in order to attack women or peep on them or whatever it is they think they will do, what’s to stop them from doing that now? Absolutely nothing. And a new law wouldn’t do that either. It’s not like most bathrooms are truly secure. I guess they’re afraid of transgender cooties or something. Anyway, we have family in SC and TN so if she decides to travel there, I will give her a heads up to be careful before she goes. I shouldn’t have to but I will. And it pisses me off and makes me fear for her safety.