South Carolina businesses speak out, as opponents try to secretly pass anti-LGBT bill

While LGBT opponents try to sneak anti-trans bill S1203 through the Senate General Subcommittee without a public vote, South Carolina businesses are standing up against LGBT discrimination. Last week, the South Carolina state senate held a hearing for S1203, against which there was overwhelming opposition.

After a very clear message from the people of South Carolina that S1203 is a discriminatory and dangerous bill, Sen. Bright is attempting to have the Chairman of the Senate General Subcommittee issue a secret poll vote on the bill, according to a report in The Greenville News. Meanwhile ,the South Carolina business community expressed concern with this secret vote as well as with S1203 in general, in a letter to members of the South Carolina General Assembly. They wrote:

Dear Members:

The business community is deeply concerned with the priority given to S.1203 by the South Carolina Senate General Subcommitee, and the impact this may have on the economic climate in the state.

While our state is facing serious issues like insufficient resources to fix our crumbling roads, and a skills gap that threatens the economic growth of our state, it is troubling to see some senators devoting lawmakers' time and taxpaper dollars to debating an unnecessary bill that diverts attention away from legitimate needs.

Our state's economy is growing and on the rise. We have more people working in South Carolina than at any other time in history. Governor Haley and Secretary Hitt have helped move South Carolina to the front of the line on economic development, adding more than 71, 000 jobs and $17 billion in investment over the past five years.

The Pametto 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.

If S.1203 is advanced by the General Committee, make no mistake that it will have direct impact on South Carolina jobs and job prospects. Members of the General Committee and the South Carolina Senate have a unique opportunity to further distinguish our state from our neighbors to our north and south. 

The business community asks that members of the General Committee vote not to advance this bill and instead devote your attention to working on priorities that advance South Carolina.

Sincerely,

The South Carolina Business Community

S1203, which was first introduced on April 6, 2016, seeks to limit the right of South Carolina's transgender community. According to Think Progress, the bill "would do three things: it would ban municipalities from establishing protections that would allow transgender people to use bathrooms, it would ban any state building from allowing transgender people to access sex-designated restrooms, and it would ban schools from allowing transgender people to access sex-designated restrooms."

Like many other business leaders in states with anti-LGBT legislation, the South Carolina business community is concerned that this discriminatory and unnecessary bill will negatively impact South Carolina's economy. The Business Community also stressed in their letter that the Senate's resources can be better devoted to actual issues that need attention in South Carolina. Indeed, S.1203 is unnecessary, and one of the many bills that perpetuates discriminatory and inaccurate representations of transgender people. GLAAD continues to monitor these harmful anti-LGBT bills and urges journalists and individuals alike to read and consider the "Debunking the 'Bathroom Bill' Myth" guide.