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Third effort to block transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports faces opposition

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - LGBTQ advocates fought another bill focused on keeping transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports in South Carolina.

The legislation went before lawmakers Thursday with more than a dozen people signed up to testify.

Many opponents argued that Senate Bill 531 sets a dangerous precedent for discrimination against transgender teens by singling them out and putting a target on their back for bullying and other forms of harassment.

One South Carolina man, who was a high school athlete prior to transitioning, said the proposed legislation excludes trans-students from opportunities given to others.

“It creates this fear base not only for the opposing side, in their folks who have this fear-based thought about trans-folks,” Program Coordinator for Gender Benders Wynston Sanders said. “It also creates the fear and anxiety and worry in trans-students when all they want to do is be able to live their life in peace and have the same opportunities as anyone else. "

Thursday’s Senate education subcommittee lasted for almost two hours with a list of people still standing by to speak on the issue.

However, with this year’s legislative session ending on May 13, subcommittee members plan to consider the bill again at a later date, along with some amendments and more testimony.

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