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Press Release: Coalition of LGBTQ Advocates in South Carolina Call on Legislators to Reject Anti-Transgender School Athletics Bill In Advance of Subcommittee Hearing

Feb 19, 2021

Proposed legislation would jeopardize the mental, social, and physical health of transgender youth in South Carolina and open state to lawsuits.

  Columbia, SC-

Today the South Carolina legislature announced that a hearing will be held next week on H3477, legislation that would prohibit transgender youth in middle and high school from participating in student athletics. The Special Laws subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, February 23 at 11:00am. 

South Carolina United for Justice & Equality, a coalition of LGBTQ and allied advocates across the state, issued a joint statement today. The coalition (view all member organizations here) said:

“We oppose H3477, a bill that cruelly targets transgender youth and that distracts from essential issues the legislature should be focused on. Even as South Carolina continues to grapple with the devastating impacts of the pandemic, some lawmakers are instead prioritizing legislation that targets transgender youth for exclusion after a year that has already been especially isolating for young people. Participation in athletics is central to students’ physical, social, and emotional health, providing important growth in leadership, confidence, and teamwork. Every student should be able to access the opportunities and lessons of school athletics. To categorically deny transgender students the freedom to play alongside their peers is completely at odds with lawmakers’ duties to care for and protect our youth.”

“We will fight this bill every step of the way. Should this bill be allowed to pass, it would harm transgender youth, send a disturbingly clear message that South Carolina prioritizes discrimination over inclusion, and open the state to potential lawsuits. Our coalition urges our elected officials to reject this bill, which is opposed by a broad array of South Carolinians, including faith leaders, business leaders, parents, teachers, medical providers, and more.”

“We also send this message of strength and love to our resilient transgender young people: You are loved, you are seen, and we are fighting for you.”

Advocates from the SC United for Justice & Equality coalition are available to speak with media about the legislation and its damaging impact on transgender youth.

Click here to view a backgrounder and FAQ about H3477. 

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SC United for Justice and Equality envisions a South Carolina where everyone can thrive, with focus on the lived and legal equality of LGBTQ people. The coalition advocates for the passage of legislation to protect LGBTQ community members and opposes anti-LGBTQ legislation.

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