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S.C. State House roundup: Lawmakers reject transgender sports ban, return sexual orientation to hate crime bill

South Carolina State House roundup
South Carolina State House roundup(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 7:24 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - A committee in the South Carolina House has rejected a bill that would have prevented transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams in middle and high school.

The House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill Tuesday without a recorded vote, likely dooming any chance it has of passing in 2021.

South Carolina was one of more than 20 states considering restrictions on athletics or gender-confirming health care for transgender minors this year.

Mississippi’s Legislature has already passed the sports ban.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Micah Caskey of West Columbia made the motion to table the bill, saying supporters failed to show it was a problem that lawmakers needed to solve.

Sexual orientation back in hate crime bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A group of South Carolina lawmakers have added back protections for gay or transgender people to a hate crime bill five days after removing them.

But they then voted Tuesday to remove stalking and harassment from the crimes that could add an extra hate crime penalty, leaving the proposal to only deal with violent offenses.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill and it now heads to the House floor.

Charleston Democratic Rep. Wendell Gilliard says removing non-violent offenses from the proposal is troubling. But he says they can be added back.

Gilliard agreed with Republican leaders whose goal is to get the bill to the House floor before an April 10 deadline that could keep it from passing.

Also at the State House ...

  • The South Carolina Senate unanimously approved the governor’s nomination of a nearly lifelong member of the Highway Patrol to lead the state Department of Public Safety. Robert Woods IV can now take interim off his title as he runs the agency that oversees the Highway Patrol and Statehouse security. Woods has been doing the job for about a year after the previous nominee withdrew.

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