By Alexa Angelus
Transgender people in South Carolina now can choose a bathroom based on their gender identity. But a new bill introduced by Spartanburg State Sen. Lee Bright may restrict transgender people's ability to choose.
"You know if you're born male, you use the male restroom, if they have broad shoulders and male attributes and they're still female, then they'll use the female restroom," said Sen. Bright.
The senator is referring to the Bathroom Bill he proposed that would prevent transgender people from choosing. Bright says they will have to use the men's or women's restroom according the gender on their birth certificate and not the gender they identify with.
Gov. Nikki Haley does not feel the bill is necessary for South Carolina.
"While other states are having this battle, this is not a battle that we have seen as needed in South Carolina and it's not something we see people are asking for," Gov. Haley said.
North Carolina has recently passed a similar law. Companies doing business in the state have already taken action following its passage. PayPal has canceled plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte.
"The new law perpetuation discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal's mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte," said PayPal CEO and President, Dan Schulman.
People fear the same discrimination will take place if South Carolina passes the bill. Dana Smith, a transgender woman, made the distinction between gender identity and biological sex.
“Gender identity is separate from biological sex determination and how someone perceives and accepts themselves is not determined by what happens at birth," Dana Smith said.
Dana Smith worries that because of the lack of knowledge, the bill could get passed.
"If this bill gets passed, immediately there will be many trans people being victims of sexual harassment and discrimination immediately," Dana Smith said.
Licensed social worker, Mace Smith, agrees with Dana Smith.
"If this bill does pass, it will be pandemonium, we have gone through several years to basically identify discriminatory measures and to disregard them but this bill is rehashing a lot of the things we fought for for years to overcome," said Macie Smith.
Despite the controversy, Sen. Bright says he's not worried about backlash.
“There may be some push back I mean this liberal agenda that people have been fostering through the years for political correctness. Eventually, people will have enough of it and their business may be in peril," said Bright.
Sen. Bright says the Bathroom Bill will be heard by the committee next Wednesday.