Saturday, April 05, 2014

South Carolina legislators declare war on state colleges over gay issues

Sen. Lee Bright
First my state legislators  in SC "penalize" colleges over gay-themed books. Now comes this.

From The State:

The University of South Carolina Upstate could have its budget cut again for another gay-themed program on the Spartanburg campus.

The school is hosting a symposium on gay topics that at one point included a lecture titled, “How to be a lesbian in 10 days or less.” The event comes a month after the House of Representatives cut $17,142 from USC Upstate’s budget for assigning freshmen to read an essay book on coming out gay in the South.

At least three state senators said Friday they are upset about USC Upstate’s gay-themed programming. They vow to not only keep the House’s cut but also slash more from the school’s budget next year.

“If they’ve got extra money sitting around to promote perversion, obviously they’ve got more money than they really need,” said S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant, an Anderson Republican who sits on the Senate budget-writing committee.

That's danger with some people. They tend to talk before they know all of the facts . . . or even after they are aware of all of the facts. The State also says:

USC Upstate’s Bodies of Knowledge Symposium, slated for next Thursday and Friday, focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexual orientation issues and has stirred a typically conservative section of the state.

The college – which hosts a national conference on child abuse and an undergraduate research symposium highlighting students’ work – did not intend to stir controversy with the symposium, school officials said.

The theme is “an optional opportunity (for students) to explore some of these topics which they probably would not get to in a class or in another type of organized workshop,” Toth said.

Much of the outcry was over the planned performance by Leigh Hendrix of “How to be a lesbian in 10 days or less,” a comical story about coming out as gay.

But some people took it as an instructive performance, instead of a comedy, USC Upstate spokeswoman Tammy Whaley said.

 The event was cut after community and political uproar.

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This nonsense is the latest salvo against state universities by SC legislators over lgbt issues. Recently, the House took away $70,000 collectively from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate. The amount adds up to the how much the two colleges spent on the gay-themed books. The legislators claimed that the books, Fun Home and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio doesn't represent SC community value and were pornographic.

But there is something else in particular you should know about the latest attack on the University of South Carolina Upstate. One of the main legislators running to the press voicing so-called outrage about this and issuing threats is Sen. Lee Bright of Spartanburg. He is also running for the U.S. Senate in a primary against Sen. Lindsey Graham. I guess Obamacare is out as a hot button issue for Bright, seeing that Graham just unveiled his "I'm going to stop Obamacare commercial." As nauseating as it is, it certainly beats the "I tried to find out the truth in Benghazi" commercials Sen. Graham was running.

So obviously with no other recourse, Bright seems to be going for the time-honored tradition of attacking the lgbt community in an election year. I think I liked him better when he was raffling off an AR-15 as a part of his campaign.

How nice it is that, in spite of all of the changes going on with regards to the acceptance of the lgbt community, there is still a place in this country where legislators seeking public office can still use us as scapegoats. I guess to Bright it definitely beats voicing concern over genuine issues.

A good friend of mine put it best:

"Election year. Yep, time to censor books, attack gay people, and foam at the mouth."

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