South Carolina Governor: No Need for Anti-Transgender Restroom Restrictions Law

By Adam Polaski • August 2, 2017 • 1:41 pm

This week in South Carolina, Republican Governor Henry McMaster dismissed the need for a bill to restrict restroom access for transgender people. He said, “I don’t think we need such a bill. This is a great state, great people. As you know, we get along very well, and I think we’re doing just fine.”

Just last year, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley shared similar concerns when an anti-transgender bathroom bill was debated in the South Carolina Legislature. “I don’t believe it’s necessary,” she said. “There’s not one instance that I’m aware of. When we look at our situation, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re again not hearing any citizens that are being violated in terms of freedoms. Like it or not, South Carolina is doing really well when it comes to respect and when it comes to kindness and when it comes to acceptance. For people to imply it’s not, I beg to differ.”

Governor McMaster is the latest Republican in a long line of Republican Governors to condemn bills that restrict transgender people from using the restroom. Last year nearly half a dozen Republican governors said such legislation was unnecessary. Take a look:

  • Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said there’s no problem that an anti-transgender bill addresses.
  • Kentucky  Governor Matt Bevin called legislation like this “unnecessary” and “silly.”
  • South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, who vetoed a bill targeting transgender students, said, “It is a solution in search of a problem.”
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said there’s no need to bar transgender people from the bathroom. He said: “I’m hearing that our school boards have figured out how to adjust to each situation that arises, and to date, I’m not hearing parents say we have problem in our schools today.”

Meanwhile, leadership in Texas – including Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick – is pushing aggressively for an anti-transgender bathroom bill. The bill, which restricts restroom access for transgender young people and undermines local LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinances, passed the Senate last Tuesday and now is headed to the House. We urge lawmakers in the House to consider the lessons learned from North Carolina’s HB2, a broad anti-transgender law that cost the state millions of dollars and has cast a long-lasting stain on the Tarheel State.


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