South Carolina's top Democrat 'disappointed' after anti-discrimination vote


COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's top Democrat is pushing for a bill that would make a change to the state's anti-discrimination law.

The bill, sponsored by House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in South Carolina.

There are laws on the books in South Carolina that ban discrimination based on race, religion, and sex for hiring, housing, and services. However, current state law does not prohibit South Carolina employers and other entities to refuse services and employment to individuals based on their sexual orientation.

Rep. Rutherford's bill faces big hurdles before it can become law.

Tuesday, the South Carolina House voted on party lines to send Rep. Rutherford's bill back to the House Judiciary Committee. One Democratic spokesman said the bill will "likely die" in committee.

"The fact that every single House Republican voted to kill a simple anti-discrimination bill… is downright shameful," said Rep. Rutherford in a statement after the vote. "Do they think it should be legal to fire someone for being gay? Do they think it should be lawful in our state for a hotel to refuse service to a same-sex couple who is legally married?"

Rep. Rutherford filed the anti-discrimination bill shortly after the blowback surrounding Indiana's Religious Freedom Law.

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