Kelly Golden

Kelly Golden

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WHY: there is a fast-track ban on transgender procedures for SC minors ...

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - A ban on gender-affirming care for kids and teens in South Carolina is moving quickly at the State House.

Just hours after lawmakers gaveled in to begin their 2024 legislative session in their first week, the newly-filed bill, H.4624, drew hours of criticism from parents and pediatricians during an afternoon hearing. By the next afternoon, the Republican-dominated House 3-M (Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs) Committee had already advanced the legislation to the House of Representatives floor to await a debate.

After the committee’s vote, predominantly along party lines, opponents stood outside the State House, rallying against a set of proposals they said would harm a group of already marginalized kids and teens.

“Just a few months away from now, my daughter is going to be without healthcare again. And what that’s going to cause is, my wife and I are probably going to have to live apart,” David Bell, the parent of a transgender child, said, explaining one of them would likely have to move to another state for their daughter to continue receiving her care while the other would remain with the rest of their family at their home in Charleston.

But supporters, including top Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives, claimed they are pushing this legislation to protect kids.

“When God created us, he created us male and female, and that’s it. There is no other choice, and all these other folks that want to change that from birth or change that through their life, we need to stand up against that,” House Majority Leader Davey Hiott, R – Pickens and the bill’s lead sponsor, said during a news conference Tuesday.

East Cooper SC Rep. Kathy Landing goes in-depth on this bill, and other's sure to dominate headlines this Legislative session on this week's edition of 'The Kelly Golden Show Podcast'. Click here to listen on-demand now:

This bill would ban minors in South Carolina from undergoing “gender-transition procedures,” including surgeries, hormone therapy, and puberty blockers.

It would also prohibit state dollars from paying for these procedures and would ban Medicaid from covering them for anyone younger than 27 in South Carolina.

“We don’t allow children to get tattoos that are semi-permanent, that can be removed, at great cost,” Rep. Jordan Pace, R- Berkeley, said.

Democratic lawmakers argued during Wednesday’s meeting that they were wasting time on a bill not only unnecessary but dangerous.

“We’re up here, worrying about if a person is trans or not? You know what, who gives — I’m finished,” Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D – Charleston, said as he wrapped up his comments.

The proposal would also prohibit school staff from knowingly withholding information from a parent if their minor child’s perception of their gender is inconsistent with their sex.

“I would hope that if I had a child or a grandchild in a school and they know something unusual going on with my child, that somebody in that school would get in touch with me and say, ‘There’s something unusual going on with your child,’” Rep. Joe White, R – Newberry, said.

But others contended it would put teachers and other school workers in a spot they should not be in.

“I don’t think that’s a teacher’s job. I think it goes down a dangerous path,” Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, D-Charleston, said. “It is going to be so subjective, and there are going to be teachers who target students, and there are going to be teachers who make false assumptions, and that is going to have consequences.”

More than 20 other states have already enacted measures similar to this bill.

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