South Carolina refuses to restore funding to colleges over ‘gay books’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The South Carolina House of Representatives has refused to restore funding that was cut from two state colleges after they stocked ‘gay-themed’ books.

Last month, legislators voted to cut $17,000 (£10,200) in funding from the University of South Carolina Upstate and $52,000 (£31,200) from the College of Charleston.

This was due to the assigning of ‘gay themed’ literature to students, including autobiographical graphic novel “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic”, and “Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio”, which documented the birth of the state’s first gay and lesbian radio show.

Yesterday Democrats tabled several amendments to restore the funding to the colleges, but they were rejected four times, by votes of 69-41, 70-43, 71-40, and 71-38.

According to local newspaper The State, Republican reprentative Garry Smith, who was responsible for the funds being pulled, said the material ‘promoted a lifestyle’ and ‘did not reflect community standards’, but that he would not object to the books if they were part of elective courses.

Democrat Gilda Cobb-Hunter asked: “Are we saying that we don’t trust the students in the state to expose them to something they have not seen before, or expose them to an ideology that may be foreign to them?”.