State Senator: USC Upstate about "indoctrination", not education

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Earlier this year, House representatives cut roughly $17,000 from the USC Upstate budget over a required reading textbook about the history of gay radio. Now new cuts could result over a performance piece titled "How to Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less."

On college campuses, differences have been historically celebrated or, at the very least, discussed.

"Higher education is fundamentally about empowering people to understand themselves and the world in ways that allow them to live authentically," said Dr. Tom Moore, chancellor from USC Upstate.

That was the goal of the university's 6th annual "Bodies of Knowledge" seminar. Actress Leigh Hendrix's seminar was originally the opening act.

"It was really about finding your voice as an individual person," said Hendrix. "Because of the title, which was more controversial than it seemed, it was canceled."

USC Upstate receives roughly $9.5 million a year from the state. Now some senators, like US Senate candidate and current state Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) say they want to see a significant portion of that budget reduced.

"I think it's clear they have an agenda, and we're going to fight against it," said Bright. "They're bullying us into mentally trying to make us think what they believe is normal and we don't and we don't want it forced on our children."

"They're more about indoctrination than education and the people of South Carolina have had about enough."

Chase Moery, himself a gay student, says the consequences to lawmakers objections are far reaching.

"Passive discrimination paves the way for more overt discrimination," said Moery.

The university administration says they are ready to defend their programming and fight against any future budget cuts. There are 14 religious or special interest groups on campus and the LGBT community is just one.

The Senate Finance Committee meets this week to debate the budget.

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