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South Carolina won’t restore college funding over ‘gay-themed’ books

Republican legislator behind cut says literature ‘promotes a lifestyle’

South Carolina lawmakers have pulled funding from two colleges over their assignment of literature with gay content. Credit:

Democratic lawmakers in South Carolina tried and failed several times to reinstate funding that was pulled from two colleges because they assigned literature with gay content to students, The State reports.

The contentious books are Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (author of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For) and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio by Ed Madden and Candace Chellew-Hodge.

Republican lawmaker Garry Smith, who was behind the move to cut funding to the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate to the collective tune of $70,000, argues that the books promote “a lifestyle” and do not “reflect community standards,” the report adds.

While fellow Republican BR Skelton raised concerns about censorship, Democratic legislators contended that college students are adults who are seeking educations that will bring them into contact with different ideas and experiences.

South Carolina’s House of Representatives is now contemplating further punitive measures against the schools through a budget proposal that would withhold $1 million in state funds from each public college until they prohibit the use of “pornographic content” and nude models in classes.