SC Equality is celebrating the defeat of a discriminatory bathroom bill.

Org celebrates bill defeat

COLUMBIA, S.C.— SC Equality is celebrating the defeat of “bathroom bill” legislation for the second year in a row.

Rep. Steve Wayne Long’s “discriminatory, unnecessary and economically ill-advised” bill was officially stopped for the year, the organization said. It was modeled after North Carolina’s HB2 and failed to get a public hearing.

SC Equality Executive Director Jeff Ayers said, “South Carolina has told the nation for the 2nd consecutive year it will not make the mistakes of its northern neighbor. We applaud the members of the House, our friends and ally organizations, and we join our state in proudly saying again that South Carolina does not stand for discrimination or wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary legislation. We are open for Business in South Carolina.”

He added, “While we celebrate this monumental victory, we caution South Carolinians that if history teaches us anything in politics, we have to be prepared for any last minute maneuvers to attempt to slide something in cloaked within another bill before the session ends. We caution opponents of this bill to steadfastly continue to speak out about such discriminatory efforts.”

SC Equality had previously leant its support to Rep. James Smith (D-Richland) who introduced the Workplace Fairness Act, a bill aimed at protecting LGBTQ South Carolinians in the workplace from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It has also supported House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford’s (D-Richland) Uniform Anti-Discrimination Act designed to not only protect LGBTQ South Carolinians in the workplace, but would also give protection from discrimination in housing and public accommodations.

In other news, SC Equality is heading out to the theatre to see An Evening with David Sedaris on April 26, 7:30 p.m., at the Koger Center for the Arts.

Tickets are $34 and $39 and are available online at Enter “EQUALITY” in the coupon code section and receive a $5 discount.


Biz guild hosts Ayers

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The Coastal Business Guild’s Lunch & Learn will be held on May 2, 12:30 p.m., at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center, 101 Fantasy Harbour Blvd.

A legislative update will be provided by SC Equality Board Chair Jeff Ayers, as well as a group discussion on local, state and national issues.

Cost is free to members and $10 for guests with box lunch included or free for a no-lunch option. Advance registration is due by April 24 and is available online at


Affinity ready to ‘dazzle’

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Affinity Health Center’s 14th Annual Dazzle and Denim fundraising event will be held on May 12, 7 p.m., at The Magnolia Room, 4017 Laurel Creek Dr.

Tickets are $60/individual and $100/2 tickets through May 5. Afterward tickets will be $65 per person. Tables can also be reserved for groups of 10 for $500. Tickets can be purchased online or by mailing a check to 500 Lakeshore Pky., Rock Hill, SC 29730. All proceeds from this event will benefit Affinity Health Center.


AFFA takes to the fairways

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — Alliance for Full Acceptance will hold its First Annual AFFA Golf Tournament on June 19 at Dunes West, 3535 Wando Plantation Wy., with shotgun start at 1 p.m.

A cocktail hour with complimentary beer and wine for golfers will be held after game play. Also a small fundraising auction and a barbecue dinner will be held in the course’s club house.

Participants are encouraged to form teams or play individually to an assigned foursome.

Entry fee is $95 and includes 18 holes of golf, cart, a goodie bag and the cocktail/dinner event following. A separate fee of $35 will be assessed for those who do not golf but want to attend the dinner.

Hole sponsorships are available for $250.

Registration is available online at

In other news, actor and performer Paul J. Williams will share his wit and wisdom at the May 11 AFFA meeting at the Charleston Marriott Hotel, 170 Lockwood Dr. A cash bar will take place at 5:45 p.m. followed by the performance at 6:30 p.m.


Youth project expands

CHARLESTON, S.C. — What began as a week-long music camp for girls and transgender youth, Girls Rock Charleston has now taken another step in its expansion by transitioning into the Carolina Youth Action Project 2017.

The launch party for the project will be on May 20 at Redux Studios, 136 St. Philip St. More information will be made available shortly. Contact the organization at to learn more.

The organizers are now asking the community to assist them in their visionary project by investing in it with a contribution of $25 per month which can be made online. Funds raised will enable the project to fully cover costs for its summer camp and year-round youth organizing programming.

Participants in the program feel safe, free and whole in a world that is beset with bullying and bigotry. They enjoy high-quality art, music and political education programs, resources and training to become young feminists and anti-race organizers, organize against criminalization of youth statewide, support with community-based alternatives to incarceration, power building to confront racism, transphobia, homophobia and sexism through a centering leadership of girls and transgender youth of color.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...