Academics, LGBTQ community react to proposed 'bathroom bill'

Academics, LGBTQ community react to proposed 'bathroom bill'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Conversation is starting around the state following a proposed bill by Upstate Republican Sen. Lee Bright, which would dictate what bathroom people use, no matter the gender they identify as.

If made into law, the bathroom a person uses would be based on their biological sex, not the gender they identify as. The bill defines 'biological sex' as "the physical condition of being male or female."

"I've had about enough of this," Bright said. "I mean, years ago, we kept talking about tolerance, tolerance, and tolerance, and now they want men who claim to be women to be able to go into bathrooms with children."

On Thursday, those caught in the middle spoke up.

"This law is unnecessary discrimination, and it's not who we are in South Carolina," said Veronica Walters.

Walters is part of the Myrtle Beach Human Rights Commission and helped revise Myrtle Beach's anti-discrimination resolution a few years ago to make it include sexual and gender identity. She is also transgender.

For years, she said, transgender people have been using public bathrooms without problems. This bill, she believed, could do serious damage.

"This bill would actually open transgender people up to harassment, by placing them in the bathroom where they're not comfortable," Walter said.

Former CCU director of Women's and Gender studies, Dr. Julinna Oxley, the former director of women's and gender studies at Coastal Carolina University, also saw no good in the bill and felt there is no concern from the public.

"In reality, the majority of people in South Carolina, I think, would not support this bill because they really don't have a problem with transgender people going to the restroom," said Oxley.

Proponents said the bill mirrors North Carolina's recently introduced HB2. Since its introduction, several Companies have spoken out or pledged to pull business out of the state.

Bright said it's time South Carolina stood with its northern neighbor.

WMBF News reached out to local senators and Myrtle Beach City Council members Thursday for comment or reaction to the bill. None provided a comment.

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