Conservatives who want to limit how South Carolina towns can set transgender bathroom policies failed in a longshot effort to include language in the Senate’s budget proposal Tuesday, likely their last shot to pass a North Carolina-styled ban this year.
Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster ruled a proposed amendment by State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, out of order, determining that it violated Senate budget rules by trying to change current state law. Bright’s proposed amendment would have withheld funding for any towns or counties that require businesses let a person to use a restroom, dressing room, or shower room different than the sex on their birth certificate.
Bright also sponsored a similar ban that stalled in the Senate General Committee last month after a strong outcry from civil rights groups and fears among Senate leaders it could lead to economic boycotts of the state. He had indicated he would try to include the language in the budget, but was blocked when Democrats argued it violated Senate rules. The Republican lieutenant governor agreed and sustained their point of order.
Social conservatives say they are concerned that sex offenders could exploit bathroom policies by falsely claiming to be transgender.