South Carolina’s Gubernatorial Race Just Got Troublesome for State’s Transgender

By Sabrina Samone

If you live in the blue county of Charleston, in the red state of South Carolina, you may feel like a deer staring in the head lights of an 18 wheeler that’s about to push you out into the ocean, full speed ahead. Though we’re a predominant Republican state, there has been enough Democratic strength here to hold off similar legislation that’s plagued our neighbors to the north, or that Lone Star state out west. Yet gone possibly, are the days when former Republican Governor Nikki Haley said of a similar N.C. bathroom law proposal here, “I don’t believe it’s necessary. When I look at South Carolina, we look at our situations, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re again not hearing any citizens that feel like they’re being violated in terms of freedoms.

Even though she spoke out against Trumpzilla, she accepted a position as UN Ambassador. She left SC in the hands of her Lt. Govenor Henry McMaster, an old toad, sitting proudly on his pre-civil rights era ideology. Yet, with his slightly pro-“heritage” stance, even he believed that an anti-transgender bathroom bill in South Carolina was not needed. So why is this muse nervous? The reason is Catherine Templeton, and where does she kick off her campaign?  Her first town hall in Pickens County, a Republican stronghold, in the very red Upstate area, to gather the red coats. When it comes to the opposite end of the state from the coast, we are talking the heart of S.C.’s Republican soul. This is the home of Bob Jones University, which only after being boycotted by the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, did they stop expelling students for interracial dating…and it wasn’t immediately.

McMaster is expected to run for Governor in his own right. There is little confidence the 70 year old is expected to win in a state that’s average median age continues to lower, and who has spent a lifetime in state politics. In the era of Trump, non lifetime politicians are the preferred choice. That leaves 46 year old, shamelessly proud confederate, Catherine Templeton, who already has the eye of Trump and an upstate darling to all the bigots, transphobes, and separatist of the state.

Recently in Columbia, at her first town meeting as a gubernatorial candidate, a woman at the Republican town hall asked Templeton if she would back a law banning transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice like one passed and rolled back in North Carolina. 

“Would you buckle like North Carolina did or would you stand up for the Lord’s word?” the “upstate” woman said.

The GOP hopeful running in her first race said, she believed people should use bathrooms based on their birth gender but did not say anything about putting that into law. On another social conservative issue, abortion, Templeton told the town hall that she would allow exceptions for incest and if the mother’s life is endangered.

Side note, Templeton was summoned to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Trump when he was picking his cabinet, but she turned down a job in the U.S. Department of Labor. She remains a supporter of Trump.

To all the state’s LGBTQIA activist, prepare to RESIST!

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Two Teens Admit to Targeting Trans Activist in a Recent Attack in Texas

A second suspect in an attack on a transgender woman last week admitted to Austin police that he targeted the victim because of her gender identity, according to court papers filed Monday.

Rayshad Deloach, 17, and his brother, Raymond, have both been accused of carjacking and mugging Stephanie Martinez¹, an Austin transgender activist.

“Rayshad admitted that he attacked Martinez because she was transgender,” police officers wrote in his arrest affidavit.

In his statement to the police, Rayshad Deloach confirmed the details of the Thursday afternoon attack that Martinez relayed to the police, including punching her several times in the face and picking up a log as if to use it to bash her head.

Just a day after the attack, Martinez testified before state lawmakers at the Capitol as they debated the so-called bathroom bills², laws that would restrict local governments and school districts from implementing transgender-friendly bathroom policies.

The measure is one of the most contentious being debated during the Legislature’s special session.

“This bill is not about safety, this bill is not about bathrooms,” Martinez told a committee of state senators, which backed the legislation after hours of testimony that went largely against the measure. “This bill is about limiting my ability to navigate public life.”

Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans in January unveiled the so-called “bathroom bill” to regulate bathroom use and keep transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 6, one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s legislative priorities, would have required transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex.” The measure would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The ripple effects of such hate inspired legislation, has made the lives of many trans people in the state less safe³. When a politician tells his constituents, that the lives of trans people are debatable, and legally ok to be ridiculed, attacks like these happen. Rayshad, and Raymond Deloach should be charged with a hate crime, but they are not the only ones. The state Republicans, pushing these hate bills, are also responsible for this, and every attack, on every trans person in the state of Texas.

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  1. Stephanie Martinez, is an activist with the Transgender Education Network of Texas. She was able to attend the senate hearing on anti-transgender legislation Friday and speak out against SB3 ad SB99. She listens to he Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, the Texas Freedom Network and the Transgender Education Network of Texas gather in the outdoor rotunda of the Texas Capitol extension Friday afternoon to propose anti-transgender legislation bills SB 3 and SB99 at the Texas Capitol July 21, 2017.
  2. Senate Bill 3, a so-called “bathroom bill,” would regulate public school facilities, open-enrollment charter school facilities, and local government restrooms to be “used only by persons of the same sex as stated on a person’s birth certificate.” It will now advance to the full Senate for consideration.
  3. “A Matter of Life and Death” brings to light the stories of the at least 21 trans people who have been murdered since the beginning of this year, and it estimates there have been at least 74 murders of transgender people since 2013.
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