S.C. Senate panel rejects budget cuts

House had slashed funds to colleges that assigned gay-themed books

southcarolinastatehouse

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Senate’s budget-writing committee has rejected an effort to punish two South Carolina universities for assigning gay-themed books to freshmen.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler on April 30 recommended adopting the House’s proposed $70,000 cuts. But the Senate Finance Committee rejected that proposal by a vote of 7-11.

Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, had said earlier that the Legislature shouldn’t micromanage universities’ curriculum.

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“I think that should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects,” said Courson (R-Columbia).

The House’s budget plan cut $17,162 from the University of South Carolina Upstate and $52,000 from the College of Charleston for their book selections.

College of Charleston was to be penalized for assigning students to read “Fun Home,” a book by Alison Bechdel that describes her childhood with a closeted gay father and her own coming out as a lesbian. The University of South Carolina – Upstate was to lose $17,000 for assigning “Out Loud:The Best of Rainbow Radio,” a book about South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show.

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Rep. Garry Smith (R), whose House subcommittee made the cuts, called the assignment the promotion of a lifestyle.

The issue will likely resurface again as the full Senate debates the budget. : :

— LGBTQ Nation is a national qnotes media partner. Reprinted with permission.

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