Republican-governed states such as North Carolina and Mississippi having been making headlines in the news recently after introducing controversial anti-LGBT legislation. Laws referred to as “bathroom bills” require transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their sex at birth. Despite no evidence of violence or harassment occurring in these states due to transgender people using bathrooms that match their preferred gender identities, state officials in North Carolina and Mississippi still feel the need to implement homophobic legislation.
However, now South Carolina is joining in on the discrimination, thanks to the state’s Republican Senator, Lee Bright. Bright presented a bill to the senate that closely mirrors the one passed in North Carolina last month.
Bright is of the opinion that trans people are somehow a threat to public safety by sharing bathrooms with women and children. Of course, no actual evidence backs his claims, but that still hasn’t stopped the transphobic, right-wing nutjob from spewing hate around the state of South Carolina.
Bright, who doesn’t actually sound all that bright after listening to his senate address, had this to say:
‘I just want to make a few comments about this bill. This is the same bill that passed up in North Carolina, they’re getting so much grief out of it, apparently PayPal has shown its support for pedophiles by wanting them to go into bathrooms. Men and women sharing bathrooms in public places is just beyond me, but the fact that 100 businesses would assault the state of North Carolina, this legislature may not stand with them but I stand with that lieutenant governor.’
Sen. Bright went on to say:
‘I’ve had about enough of this. I mean, years ago we kept talking about tolerance, tolerance, and tolerance, and now they want men who claim to be women to be able to go into bathrooms with children. And you got corporations who say this is okay.’
He went on to reference South Carolina following the lead of North Carolina:
‘Our neighbors to the north who are showing some common decency and some common sense.’
Time and time again, Republicans have clung to their close-minded beliefs and continuously tried to justify their homophobic actions. North Carolina attracted a significant amount of media attention last month when they passed the exact same legislation that South Carolina hopes to pass now. Mississippi followed North Carolina’s lead and passed similar legislation this month.
Not only does this kind of legislation grossly infringe upon people’s human rights, the legislation already enacted in both North Carolina and Mississippi infringes upon federal law as well. Currently the two states face severe penalties by the federal government, including removal of federal funding. Mississippi is already the number one state dependent upon federal dollars, so they really can’t afford to be losing out on federal assistance.
After Bruce Springsteen attracted a lot of attention by cancelling his show in North Carolina in protest to the passing of such legislation, businesses have also started to follow a similar path.
Businesses bailing on these anti-LGBT states seem to be becoming a trend, as a successful CEO is pulling his business out of South Carolina despite the fact that the bill hasn’t even been passed yet.
Anthony Watson is the CEO of a company called Uphold and he’s decided to move his business to California instead of remaining in a state that actively condones homophobia.
Watson describes himself as “openly gay,” according to The State. His company was responsible for $830 million in transactions since 2014, but he won’t be hanging around South Carolina any longer.
According to the company’s website, Watson had this to say:
‘I have watched in shock and dismay as legislation has been abruptly proposed or enacted in several states across the union seeking to invalidate the basic protections and rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) U.S. citizens.’
Watson even specifically called out Senator Bright for facilitating the disgusting bill, saying:
‘In recent days, we have been made aware that South Carolina Sen. Lee Bright has introduced a bill largely mirroring North Carolina’s controversial law that blocks local governments from passing LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances,” wrote Watson. As such, we feel compelled to take action to oppose the discrimination being proposed in South Carolina and protect our LGBT employees.’
Let this be a lesson to legislators and residents of North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, and any other states who should choose to follow in their footsteps: There will be consequences for your hate, bigotry, and inability to move forward in a era in which we are striving towards equality and social acceptance.
Feature Image is a screengrab via WYFF4-TV.