New kind of bathroom bill proposed in South Carolina

(file/FOX Carolina)

North Carolina is not the only place we’ve been hearing about the bathroom bill. It’s been a hot topic in South Carolina as well.

Outgoing State Senator Lee Bright proposed his own version last spring. It was met with controversy, and was never passed. Now, talk of a new bathroom bill is back.

A freshman representative from Spartanburg, Steven Long, has prefiled his own version.

But he stressed, this bill is different than HB2 and the bill that was filed by Senator Bright last session.

Long said nothing will change in the state, unless local governments try to enact a non-discrimination ordinance like Charlotte did. That was repealed on Monday in Charlotte by the city council.

If something like that was passed in a South Carolina community, Long said his measure would make sure businesses could make their own decisions on bathroom policies, and wouldn't force them to do something they weren't comfortable with.

“We're not telling people what they can or can't do. We're allowing the business owners to make their own determination based on what they think would be best for their business, and for the people who patronize their business.”

Long also said he has had people in his district coming up and talking to him about this issue.

"I've had a couple people ask me about this and we saw specifically up in Charlotte where we had the local government make an ordinance up there, and you know there is always talk about this that and the other, so this is just a preemptive measure to make sure that it doesn't happen in South Carolina."

We also checked in with South Carolina Equality, an organization that works to guard the rights of the LGBT community in the state, to see if the bill is on their radar.

They know about it, and weren't shocked at the news. Jennifer Tague is the Director of Operations at SC Equality.

"I wasn't surprised. South Carolina Equality kind of had a feeling this would rear its ugly head again.”

But Tague said, they won’t stay quiet about it.

“It's just not good for the state, so we're just going to fight it.”

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