Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I still love South Carolina: a love dirge from the pit of a crazy state in the Union

This week, South Carolina’s lgbt community celebrated a huge victory which you probably won’t hear anything about.

Last year state legislators came up with the idea of a bill addressing teen dating violence. It was an excellent idea and a great bill, that is until some legislators wrote in a codicil which would have excluded lgbt relationships, thereby telling lgbt teens that the state of South Carolina really doesn’t care if they suffer relationship violence.

Through quiet tenacity and steadfast devotion, several statewide lgbt groups and their allies caused the bill to die in committee during this legislative session.

For us sensible South Carolina residents, it was a much needed victory because let’s face it: South Carolina right now is a damn embarrassment.

From Gov. Mark Sanford’s dalliances on Argentinian soil, to the alleged affairs of possibly soon-to-be governor Nikki Haley, to “Captain Redneck” Jake Knotts, and culminating with the odyssey of Alvin Greene, this state will most likely be single handedly responsible for the Daily Show receiving yet another Emmy for Best Variety Series.

But such is the history of South Carolina. From starting the Civil War by firing on Fort Sumter to pioneering the practice of lawmakers cane-whipping each other in the Congressional halls, this state seems to be bound and determined to designate itself as the insane cousin whom one lets out of the attic at his own risk.

However in spite of how low we sink, many South Carolinians - be they gay or straight, young or old, black, white, Latino, etc - still love this state

And even though the sensible thing would be for a group of us to put on black wigs and sunglasses, get the hell out of town, and tell inquiring minds that we are from the planet Venus, we are determined to hold our heads high even though we continue to be dragged through new controversies by those whom we have selected to represent us.

Why shouldn’t we? It’s like a circus down here.

In 2004, Gov. Sanford brought two pigs to the State House to express his displeasure in the overriding of his vetoes. And the pigs “expressed” themselves all over him.

He was re-elected with over 50 percent of the vote.

We have a statue on the State House grounds of a man (Ben Tillman) who proudly bragged about using violence to keep African-Americans disenfranchised

And I won’t even mention the late Strom Thurmond except for to say that when many South Carolinians displayed shock over his secret African-American daughter, we were just pretending.

Basically, us sensible folks down here have come to the conclusion that South Carolina is not a state, but a Fellini movie. Therefore it’s best to grab a few balloons and either join the parade of bizarreness or just watch it go by.

Besides, some of us don’t look exactly fetching in black wigs and sunglasses.

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Anonymous said...

Believe me, South Carolina doesn't have an exclusive lock.

Here in RI we have an openly gay and partnered Speaker of the House. Yet we could get no movement of a marriage equality bill this year. WTF!

Stefan Varner said...

A. McEwen / BlackTsunami,
(unsure if these are one in the same?)

I just got turned onto your blog, and I have been backtracking a bit. Nice! Thanks especially for the historical perspective that younger Gays might care to review.

On this article:
I am with you on every ounce of this brother.

The issue of the so-called "Education committee" creating the stupidly biased Dating Violence Bill, AND the Legislature's equally inept ability to create laws protecting All Citizens generally (as was the case with Sean Kennedy), have bothered me greatly.

We can't seem to pay our State's wayyy overdue Unemployment Taxes to the Federal Government, but citizens receive a regular flow of postcards and billboards (paid for with your tax dollars) agrandizing our elected officials, who, when you need to call Them for help on an issue, are "incommunicado".

We have such a beautiful state geographically, but we are about 15 years behind perpetually, and yes, this is a Republican thing.

Thanks for posting.