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South Carolina lawmakers reject transgender sports ban for the second time

South Carolina lawmakers have rejected, for the second time, a bill that would ban transgender athletes to play in teams according to their gender identity.

On Tuesday, the state’s House Judiciary Committee voted 13-11 against House Bill 4153, The Associated Press reported. The measure, referred to as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” is nearly identical to a bill that had been introduced — and rejected — on March 16.

Supporters of the bill changed some of its language, but the essence of the measure remained the same.

LGBTQ rights activists slammed HB 4153 as a “last-ditch effort to force discrimination into law.”

“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,” state Rep. Beth Bernstein, a Democrat, said during the committee meeting on Tuesday, according to The Post and Courier.

More than 90 teachers across the state have spoken out against the bill.

Earlier this month, the National Collegiate Athletic Association also came out strongly against legislation that discriminates against transgender athletes, saying in a statement that it would move championship events out of states that enacted such laws.

“The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports,” a statement released on April 12 read. “This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, more than 120 directly target transgender people and more than 60 would ban trans girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

Trans sports bans have already been signed into law by the governors of four states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama.

In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem issued two executive orders restricting transgender girls and women to play on sports teams that align with their gender identity, after killing an anti-trans sports bill she had previously said she would be “excited” to sign.

Similar bills are currently awaiting signature or veto by governors in Montana and West Virginia, and could soon be enacted into law.

Source (Ny Daily news)

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