A last-ditch effort to ban transgender people from using the S.C. bathrooms of their choice was dealt a fatal blow Tuesday as an attempt to use the state budget to enact the ban failed.
State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, introduced legislation earlier this year to prevent transgender men and women from using the bathroom of their choice. His bill missed the May 1 crossover deadline for bills to pass one chamber before facing a steep hurdle to be taken up in the other chamber.
On Tuesday, Bright proposed withholding money local governments get from the state if those counties or municipalities enact laws requiring businesses to allow people to use restrooms, dressing rooms or showers other than the one assigned to their biological sex at birth.
However, Bright’s attempt was defeated by a Senate rule that prohibits anything from being included in the state budget that is not directly related to state spending.
Bright said he intends to push for the ban again Wednesday, but that effort will face a major hurdle, requiring 60 percent of senators voting to allow it. All pending legislation dies this summer with the end of a two-year legislative session. Bright says he intends to reintroduce his transgender bathroom bill next year, if he wins re-election.