South Carolina’s Judiciary Committee voted against transphobic bill H.4153 on April 27. This bill had posed a significant threat to the athletic participation of transgender middle and high school students.

The recent influx of “Save Women’s Sports” bills has further demonized the LGBTQ community; particularly those who identify as transgender, nonbinary or otherwise gender expansive. The judicial villainizing of LGBTQ youth has led to bullying and, in some cases, outright violence. In Connecticut, a cisgender girl’s family filed a lawsuit against the school for allowing transgender girls to play on her same sports team. During this time, one of the transgender players was attacked by her fellow teammates.

South Carolina United for Justice & Equality released a statement in response to the H.4153 ruling. “We are relieved and grateful that, once again, lawmakers have rejected their colleagues’ blatant attempts to discriminate against transgender student athletes. Today’s vote sends the message that H.4153, just like its predecessor, H.3477, and any other bill that discriminates against transgender people, has no place in South Carolina.

“For months, transgender young people and the many South Carolinians who love them have been making their voices heard to oppose these discriminatory bills, and we won’t stop until we have ensured a South Carolina where trans students are included, affirmed, and afforded the same opportunities as any other student. Every South Carolinian deserves an equal opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, and we will remain vigilant until that day comes.”

From State Representative Beth Bernstein came this response: “I think there’s a lot of uneasiness with this bill, because what we’re trying to do is create a solution for [a] problem that does not exist.” 

Organizations outside of South Carolina as well, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have pushed back on South Carolina’s anti-trans measures.

From their website: “The NCAA’s Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”

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