Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Will South Carolina be sued over anti-gay budget cuts?

And the situation in South Carolina over the state legislature "punishing" two colleges for assigning gay-themed books just heated up. From the Huffington Post:

Ten groups that care about free speech sent a letter Tuesday to South Carolina state senators warning that a bill to cut public college funding based on legislators' objections to certain books could bring on First Amendment lawsuits.

The South Carolina House approved a budget last week penalizing two public colleges for assigning LGBT-themed books in campus-wide reading programs. Pushed by state Rep. Garry Smith (R-Simpsonville), legislators are considering $52,000 in cuts for the College of Charleston and $17,142 in cuts for the University of South Carolina Upstate to offset the costs of those programs.
"The proposed budget cuts undermine the fundamental mission of higher educational institutions, which is critical analysis and free and unfettered debate," the protest letter said. It added, "Legislative efforts to control discussion and debate in a university setting are ill-advised, both legally and educationally."

The 10 groups behind the letter were the ACLU of South Carolina, American Association of University Professors, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, Association of American Publishers, Association of College and Research Librarians, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Modern Language Association, National Coalition Against Censorship and National Council of Teachers of English.

 Read the entire story here

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