South Carolina Lawmakers Want To Punish Colleges For Assigning Gay Authors

alison bechdel
Alison Bechdel

Oh, brother. Two lawmakers in South Carolina have come up with quite a scheme: cut funding for schools that assign reading that mentions gay people.

The College of Charleston and USC Upstate both assigned incoming freshmen to read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and the anthology Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, respectively. That infuriated Rep. Garry Smith and the House budget-writing committee. They voted to cut funding for the reading program to both schools.

Here’s the blurb for Fun Home:

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

And here’s Out Loud‘s description:

What began in 2005 as an experiment Rainbow Radio, South Carolina’s first gay and lesbian radio show has since offered diverse, accurate, and often unparalleled stories of gay and lesbian Southerners, their families, and their friends. … Citadel cadets, drag queens, a slam poet from Columbia, a Spartanburg schoolteacher, a seminary student in Atlanta, a gay army vet just back from the Middle East, West Columbia rednecks, rural Texas tomboys, South Carolina’s first lesbian Congressional candidate, a young man talking about his gay uncle, a retired attorney talking about her gay son, two boys who dare to dance at the prom, a psychic who may be attuned to the gay agenda, and a dying man who makes his last visit to church on Christmas all these voices have now been collected in Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, edited by Ed Madden and Candace Chellew-Hodge.

So, these are not smutty dirty books that need to be banned. They’re important works, and the legislature’s only objection is that the poor innocent college students will be subjected to the knowledge that gay people exist.

We have to wonder here what legislators like Smith think the purpose of higher education is. Exposure to unfamiliar ideas? Learning about new people? Questioning the world around you? Thinking critically? Nah, that can’t be it! College is for only studying people who are just like you. And also drinking.

Just wait until Smith hears about the cross-dressing in The Taming of the Shrew. No more Shakespeare, students!

H/t: LGBTQNation

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  • Caleb in SC

    I am so ashamed of my state.

  • Darling Nikki

    I guess then there will be no need for colleges, since there would be not much to read if that were enforced.

  • roddyboy4848

    that’s why I left sc

  • LubbockGayMale

    What about all the Greek and Roman classics that feature male ‘bonding’? Can’t be male lust, I guess, or we’d never read the likes of Illiad again…..

  • Dakotahgeo

    I can’t wait until THIS reaches the SCOTUS!!! What was that about freedom of speech and freedom to teach?? Oops! Don’t be too hard on SC– these ass hats exist in every State of the USA! They’ll ALL be dealt with, accordingly.

  • Mezaien

    @Caleb in SC: Don`t be ashamed It is just as bad in fucking Arizona, my state.

  • viveutvivas

    @Mezaien, don’t feel too bad. I live in a liberal state (RI) which sounds just fine and dandy, except we don’t really have any men to write home about. So I have freedom of speech but can’t get any dates. I’m sure the hunting must be better in sunny AZ and SC.

  • Respect4all

    These “lawmakers” should be arrested and forced to take college courses on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the history of democracy and fascism. The completely ironic thing is that I bet these guys consider themselves patriotic Americans without having any understanding of the origin and meaning of American freedom.

  • christineisalesbian

    I understand if they’re not quite ready to introduce this material to children yet, we have to take baby steps one at a time. But these are ADULTS that they are trying to restrict the rights of, ADULTS who have a sat in what they do and don’t read. This is fucking ridiculous

  • christineisalesbian

    Lol a sat. I meant a say

  • Kangol


    You’re a stone’s throw from much larger Massachusetts. So a bigger pool of men isn’t that far away.

  • sangsue

    The ACLU will sue the moment it passes.

  • Harley

    So when does the book burning start. I have a few bibles I want to throw in the pile as well.

  • Stefano

    Maybe a law like in Russia will help South Carolina… “do what you want but don’t touch the CHILDREN !!!”

  • tjr101

    Yep, the only thing college students should learn about is “intelligent design” and Jesus.

  • salcott

    I just donated to the “The College Reads” fund, in special recognition of Rep. Garry Smith:

    For reference, the name of the program in question is “The College Reads!”, and the college’s donation page is at

Comments are closed.