Senators block ‘Bathroom Bill,’ yet Upstate legislator remains undeterred web recurring webref

The South Carolina Statehouse

COLUMBIA — Thwarted by a lack of votes to advance a bathroom gender bill, an Upstate senator has turned his attention to the state budget.

Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, learned Wednesday he did not have the needed votes to get the controversial “Bathroom Bill” sent to the Senate floor for a vote.

The measure would require transgender people to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates — not how they may identify themselves.

Undeterred by the lack of votes, Bright said he would propose in the coming weeks — when the Senate debates the state’s roughly $7.5 billion spending plan — lawmakers taking away state funding from government subdivisions that adopt any local ordinance to expand the use of bathrooms to transgender people.

“I believe there’s a majority of people who don’t support men in women’s restrooms,” Bright said.

However, Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Columbia, who vowed to kill the bill on Tuesday, said the effort has “received its final flush of the year.”

“It’s D-O-N-E — DONE,” Lourie said Wednesday, pointing to the pending death of Bright’s original legislation. “This whole conversation was just a waste of time.”