SC House refuses to restore college cuts for book

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - The South Carolina House is not backing down from plans to punish two colleges in the budget for assigning freshmen to read books dealing with homosexuality.

The House twice refused Monday to restore $52,000 cut from the College of Charleston in the state budget. That's the amount the university says it spent on the book, "Fun Home," assigned to incoming freshmen last summer. Alison Bechdel's book describes her childhood with a closeted gay father and her own coming out as a lesbian.

The House killed the refunding proposals by 69-41 and 70-43.

Similar proposals to restore $17,142 to the University of South Carolina Upstate are not expected to pass. That college assigned "Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio," referring to South Carolina's first gay and lesbian radio show.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford released the following statement in opposition to the cuts.

"The Republicans in the General Assembly have resorted to censorship and budget-gutting in order to keep colleges from admitting that gays and lesbians actually exist. I hate to break it to my Republican friends, but gays and lesbians have always existed and will always exist no matter how many books they ban. It's time for Republicans to get over their narrow minded resentment towards the LGBT community and finally enter into the 21st century. Their kids and grandkids will thank them later."

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