South Carolina’s Republican Governor Nikki Haley Says Anti-Transgender Bill is Not Necessary

By Adam Polaski • April 7, 2016 • 4:03 pm

Today South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, responded to questions about a shameful bill filed yesterday in the South Carolina Legislature. The bill, S. 1203, is another attempt to criminalize transgender people for being who they are by restricting their access to restrooms. It would require all people in South Carolina to use the restroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate, ignoring their gender identity.

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Governor Haley condemned the bill today, saying it was completely unnecessary. She said:

“I don’t believe it’s necessary. 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 Haley continued, “While other states are having this battle, this is not a battle that we’ve seen is needed in South Carolina,” Haley said. “And it’s not something that we see that citizens are asking for in South Carolina.”

Governor Haley is the latest Republican governor to speak out or take action against anti-LGBT bills like S. 1203. Last month, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed bills that would allow for legal discrimination against LGBT people. A supermajority of Americans – including an increasing number of Republicans – disagree with such attacks on the LGBT community. Just this year a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that 53% of moderate Republicans and 64% of liberal Republicans oppose allowing businesses and others to cite religion as an excuse for discrimination against LGBT people.
Discrimination, these voters and Republican leaders understand, is not a conservative value – and it’s time to stop proposing bills that do nothing to bring people together, and only seek to divide.

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