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SC GOP Lawmakers Condemn University’s LGBT Event

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Apr 7, 2014
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State Sen. Mike Fair
State Sen. Mike Fair  (Source:Wikipedia )

Two Republican state senators from South Carolina senator are making headlines Monday after spewing anti-gay rhetoric this week, the Huffington Post reports.

In a recent interview with Greenville, South Carolina’s, NBC-affiliate station WYFF, Mike Fair called out the University of South Carolina Upstate for an upcoming LGBT symposium they’re hosting. The state senator also said the event, called "How to Become a Lesbian in 10 days or Less," is an inappropriate way to recruit students.

"It’s just not normal and then you glorify, or it seems to me, that the promotion at USC Upstate is a glorification of same-sex orientation," Fair said. "That’s not an explanation of ’I was born this way.’ That’s recruiting."

Fair wasn’t alone in his views. State Sen. Kevin Bryant (R) also took issue with the LGBT-themed event, and told the State Friday that the symposium is a "perversion" and a waste of South Carolina’s money.

"If they’ve got extra money sitting around to promote perversion, obviously they’ve got more money than they really need," Bryant said.

Since the lawmakers’ comments, the school has canceled the show, which was supposed to be held on April 10, 11, according to Tammy E. Whaley, USC Upstate’s assistant vice chancellor for university communications.

"The title of ’How to Become a Lesbian in 10 days or Less,’ while deliberately provocative, is satirical in nature but has not been received as such," Whaley said in a statement to WYFF. "The controversy surrounding this performance has become a distraction to the educational mission of USC Upstate and the overall purpose of the Bodies of Knowledge symposium."

Gail Stephenson, president of LGBT rights group Upstate Pride, told WYFF that canceling the show wasn’t the right decision.

"Diversity is diversity. And we can’t just say we are going to choose this part of diversity, but we’re not going to choose this part of diversity," Stephenson said. "Then what’s next? Are we going to cut out women’s studies? Racial integration?"

HuffPo reports that South Carolina lawmakers approved $52,000 in budget cuts from the school, after its officials assigned freshman students LGBT-themed books as required reading.

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