South Carolina Republicans Take away LGBTQ Folks From Hate Crimes Invoice to Not Get ‘Too Hung Up on Particular Wording’

Republicans on a South Carolina Department of Justice subcommittee on Thursday decided to narrow the list of people eligible for protection by a hate crime law and remove some of the most in need of protection: LGBTQ people.

“House Justice Committee Chairman Chris Murphy, R-North Charleston, proposed that Bill H.3620 be amended to restrict protected classes to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, and physical or mental disability.” reports The Post and Courier. “This removed previous references to creed, gender, age, race, and sexual orientation.”

Subcommittee chairman Weston Newton, also a Republican, cautioned the committee against “delving into the specific wording,” suggesting that LGBTQ people be included in the title based on the historic decision of the US Supreme Court in Bostock VII found by not needing government protection The Civil Rights Act of 1964 already protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace.

Rep. Newton is wrong.

Bostock only provides federal protection against discrimination in the workplace to LGBTQ people and has nothing to do with hate crimes. Nor does it cover housing, credit or banking, or education – as the South Carolina bill is supposed to protect against hate crimes.

Chairman Murphy’s reasoning was also flawed, saying: “He had heard concerns from ‘a large number’ of other House members that the bill was too big and wanted to make sure it could get through the Republican-dominated legislature by it focuses on the protected classes most widely used in other hate crime laws. “

Republicans “cut off a section on civil actions that some religious organizations feared could be used to suppress freedom of expression,” The Post and Courier also notes.

The subcommittee met for just 22 minutes (video here) and passed the amended legislation with no protection for LGBTQ people to the full judiciary committee.

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