Sheriff Leon Lott: Sen. Lee Bright's bathroom bill "unnecessary, unenforceable"

Published: Apr. 13, 2016 at 12:02 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2016 at 12:21 PM EDT
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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Richland County's top cop says a South Carolina Senate bill aimed at transgender people is not needed and would put a huge burden on law enforcement.

Sheriff Leon Lott says that and more in a letter hand-delivered to Senator Kevin Bryant, Chairman of a subcommittee scheduled to discuss S. 1203, the so-called "bathroom bill" Wednesday.

The bill was introduced by Spartanburg Republican Sen. Lee Bright and is modeled on North Carolina's highly controversial HB2 legislation, banning cities from passing or maintaining LGBT non-discrimination ordinances.

The bill is up for debate at a Senate General Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday morning.

Lott says the bill is "unnecessary and unenforceable" and would expose his department to costly litigation.

"In the 41 years I have been in law enforcement in South Carolina," Lott writes, "I have never heard of a transgender person attacking or otherwise bothering
someone in a restroom. This is a non-issue."

Lott says to be enforced, a law enforcement officer would have to determine the sex of every person entering a restroom in the state. The sheriff also says the bill would raise due process and Fourth Amendment issues.

Bright's bill has already been criticized by a range of groups including the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, GLAAD and the South Carolina Democratic Party.

The CEO of Uphold, an international financial services company with headquarters in Charleston, announced Tuesday the company would move its offices to Los Angeles in protest of the Senate proposal.

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