Rep. Garry Smith and the Ways and Means Committee of the South Carolina State Legislature have taken action to punish USC Upstate and the College of Charleston for assigning LGBTQ-themed books for their freshman reading programs. The committee voted 20-1 to slash each school’s budget by the exact amount that the programs cost.
Not only is this a blatant attack on academic freedom, it is part of a long history of attacks on LGBTQ people by conservatives inside and outside of the SC Legislature. It’s outdated, it’s unacceptable, it’s antidemocratic, and its time that we as queer people and our allies in South Carolina let Garry Smith and other legislators know that this state is our home too, we will not be moved by their efforts to erase us, and we are fighting back.
This attack is not just about the roughly $70,000 that USC Upstate and CofC combined will likely not receive this year. This is about creating hostile environments for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff members in our publicly-funded academic institutions. It’s about using legislative power to silence the voices and invisibilize the lives of LGBTQ South Carolinian residents.
But we will not be silenced. Rep. Garry Smith, we are putting you on notice.
<ahref=”southernersonnewground.org” style=”font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif, ‘Helvetica Neue’, HelveticaNeue, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 22.399999618530273px; text-align: center;”>Check out Southerners On New Ground, the brains behind this operation.
Please carefully read our submission guidelines before submitting:
[image: stern androgynous queer in what looks like the most comfortable cardigan in the world holds sign that reads “I am a QUEER College of Charleston staff member. Shame on you, Garry Smith, for promoting IGNORANCE. Educate yourself. #charleston is so gay #SC gay #shame on gary #SONG SC #Homosweethomo” in a gorgeous Charleston park]
comingoutdoc asked: Hi! I’m working on a documentary about coming out of the closet in the digital age, and we're currently looking for video submissions of folks' coming out stories to be included in the doc. Your page is wonderful, and I was wondering if you could join us and help spread the word. There’s info in the “Submit Your Story” tab on our Tumblr--can’t send a link with the ask field. Thank you so much! :) -Alden
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