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South Carolina House Votes to Penalize Gay-Themed Text Books In Colleges

Colleges were stripped almost $70K because books did not reflect so-called community standards.
 
 
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The South Carolina House of Representatives rejected attempts this week to restore funds in next year’s budget for two campuses that were penalized for choosing gay-themed text books as part of curriculum assignments, The State reported.

The House Budget committee removed $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,000 from the University of South Carolina-Upstate for assigning books that lawmakers said weren’t reflective of community values of taxpayers.

Both books, “ Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio” and “ Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” explore themes of coming to terms with sexuality and giving a voice to the LGBT community. 

On Monday, Democrats proposed amendments to restore the funds to the universities. 

“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?” asked state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg .

However, desipte representatives from both parties speaking in favor of a bill and criticising government penalties as an attempt to restrict the views of college students, the amendents failed and were rejected by a 2-to-1 margin in the GOP controlled house.

Additional restrictions were also proposed on public colleges such as withholding $1 mllion in state funds from institutions until they banned using “pornographic content” in classes.

The ongoing controversy over book choices has led to increasing debate over the role of government in publicly funded colleges.

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Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.