1,000 amendments cannot postpone the SC Transgender Sports Bill Political news

Author: JEFFREI COLLINS, Associated Press

COLOMBIA, South Carolina (AP) – A majority of Republican lawmakers in South Carolina outlived more than 1,000 Democrat amendments Tuesday and passed a law banning transgender students from playing women’s or women’s sports in public colleges.

The Democrats’ postponement tactic was largely symbolic, but it still delayed the vote for hours before the bill was passed 82-28 on Tuesday night. The bill was just one routine step from being sent to the South Carolina Senate for consideration. And that chamber is dominated by Republicans.

If eventually adopted and signed, the law would require South Carolina to join a number of other conservative states in requiring transgender students to compete with the gender listed in their birth certificates.

Between four large boxes of amendments and warnings about the tornado that evacuated the chamber, the debate dragged on for almost eight hours. But a majority of the Republican House passed the law around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday.

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A dozen states have already passed similar laws, and transgender athletes have become a problem in medium-term campaigns in states like Pennsylvania. But Republicans are not in step, as GOP governors in Indiana and Utah veto bans in their states.

Republican President Jay Lucas released nearly 600 amendments on Tuesday, saying they are almost the same with only minor changes such as changing the name of the school in each proposal.

After those verdicts, the Democrats withdrew even more, and the writer of most of the changes said that stopping the House of Representatives for a few hours was a victory.

“We’ve seen so many of my colleagues today advocate for people who don’t often have a voice,” said John King, a Democrat from Rock Hill.

Proponents of the law remained largely silent on Tuesday so as not to delay the debate. An amendment was passed that would create women’s wrestling teams in high schools.

The sponsor of the law, MP Ashley Trantham, took the floor just before the vote, thanks to people who fought for two years for the law to be passed in South Carolina. That failed in the board of the House of Representatives in 2021.

“Because of your actions, South Carolina is one step closer to saving women’s sports,” said the Republican from Pelzer.

The South Carolina High School League said it was considering teams that a transgender athlete could play on a case-by-case basis and had heard fewer than five requests. The Republican Supervisor for Education, Molly Spearman, is also against the proposal.

Democrats say Republicans should be ashamed to single out people whom much of society already treats badly.

“Leave these transgender children alone. There are less than 1% of them, “said MP Crystal Matthews, a Democrat from Ladson.

Before the debate began on Tuesday, Democrats submitted four boxes full of amendments – an estimated 1,000 in total – to change the law. Republicans immediately invoked a rule that limits the debate to just three minutes per amendment. Had the Democratic members been able to set aside full time and seek two-minute votes, the debate could have dragged on until the weekend.

Some Democrat amendments would introduce substantial changes to the bill, such as allowing public high schools to waive demands or requiring women’s sports to have the same number of assistant coaches or benefits as men’s teams.

Others would do things like rename the proposal the “United States Capital of Discrimination Act” or name individual schools or allow school bands to play only at women’s sporting events.

The debate was also postponed for almost an hour after the House of Representatives was evacuated due to a tornado warning for Colombia.

A similar law has reached the Senate, but has not been debated. The reckoning happened after the deadline for the adoption of the law in at least one chamber expired this week, or two thirds of the votes will be needed for the consideration.

At least a dozen of the 43 Democrats of the House of Representatives took turns talking about the amendments. Lucas abruptly interrupted them when their time was up.

Lawyer Ennie McDaniel spoke about statistics on mental health problems and suicide rates among transgender youth when Lucas told her without ceremony “Mrs. McDaniel, your time on the amendment has expired.”

“All right,” said the Democrat from Winsborough. “I’ll be back to tell you about this.”

Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://tvitter.com/JSCollinsAP.

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