Public Policy


Updates for the week of April 18, 2016

S. 1203 (Bright)  requiring people to use bathroom facilities that accord to the sex listed on their birth certificate received two subcommittee hearings last week. Although officially chaired by Sen. Bright, this task was primarily fulfilled by Sen. Lourie who guided the hearings with respect and compassion. Many transgender youth, adults and family members testified to their experiences and their wish to be accorded the respect of being allowed to use public facilities that accord with the gender they live everyday. Supporters of the bill mainly spoke of their concerns that predatory men would claim they were transgender in order to harass and assault women and children in the bathroom, although Sen. Bright made clear in an interview that his concern was with “strange and abnormal” transgender people. Several mayors and the US Attorney spoke against the bill. Sheriff Lott called it “unenforceable” and unnecessary. Sen. Kevin Bryant has said that he will set the bill for full committee hearing, although Sen. Lourie and Kimpson have said they will attach a minority report, Rep. Bannister has said the House does not have time to take it up, and the Governor has called it “unnecessary.”

In her testimony against the bill, SCCADVASA’s Executive Director spoke of the realities and facts around sexual violence in our state and the increased risk of victimization transgender people face.

S. 719— Proposed Personhood amendment to the Constitution which will state that life begins at conception passed Senate Judiciary. Sens. Hutto and Bright-Matthews attached minority reports.

 S. 1141 which addresses teen dating violence will be heard in subcommittee this week. It has not been seen it listed on an agenda yet.

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