Education officials agree to ignore South Carolina law on LGBTQ relationships in sex ed

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South Carolina education officials have agreed not to enforce part of their own state law that bans sex education teachers from mentioning any relationships other than heterosexual ones — unless the talk involves sexually transmitted diseases.

Civil rights groups last month sued the state, saying the law violated the U.S. Constitution. They also say it led to a hostile classroom climate that fostered bullying of students who are not heterosexual.

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South Carolina sued over its ban on LBGTQ sex ed discussions

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ABOVE: The Campaign for Southern Equality team at the Charleston Capitol. (Photo from Facebook)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) | It is against state law in South Carolina for public school sex education classes to mention anything other than heterosexual relationships, unless the talk involves sexually transmitted diseases. A federal lawsuit now aims to change that.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal said their lawsuit filed Feb. 26 seeks to overturn the Comprehensive Health Education Act of 1988 as an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

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In SC, Buttigieg faces some black voters wary of a gay candidate

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Above: Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (Photo courtesy from CNN)

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) | South Carolina state Sen. Gerald Malloy is fine with a gay presidential candidate like Pete Buttigieg. His older male relatives are not, and that may be the defining challenge of Buttigieg’s campaign.

As Buttigieg tries to sustain his early success in Iowa and New Hampshire, he has to prove that he can win over African American voters, who make up the vital core of the party base. A relatively small but nonetheless influential number of black South Carolinians may be resistant to him because of his sexuality.

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Ban on treatments for trans kids fails in South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) | Legislation aimed at stopping South Dakota physicians from providing puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery to transgender children under 16 failed to get enough support in a Senate committee Feb. 10.

A Republican-dominated Senate committee voted 5-2 to kill the proposal, likely ensuring the issue won’t be considered by the Legislature again this year.

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South Carolina man who founded conversion therapy ministry comes out as gay

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ABOVE: McKrae Game. (Photo from Twitter)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) | A South Carolina man who founded one of the nation’s biggest conversion therapy ministries has something to say: he’s gay.

The Post and Courier reports Hope for Wholeness founder McKrae Game came out of the closet this summer, nearly two years after he was fired from the faith-based conversion therapy program. He’s now trying to come to terms with the harm he inflicted when he was advocating for religious efforts to change a person’s sexuality.

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Black trans woman killed in S. Carolina is the 12th in 2019

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ABOVE: Denali Berries Stuckey, photo via Twitter.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) | The 12th known transgender person to violently die this year was found fatally shot in South Carolina.

News outlets report 29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey was found dead July 20 on the shoulder of a North Charleston road. Deputy Chief Scott Deckard said Monday the investigation is ongoing.

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Indiana mayor talks marriage, millennials

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) | Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg told voters March 23 that his marriage to his husband exists “by the grace of a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor visited South Carolina for the first time since announcing his presidential exploratory committee. The 37-year-old would be the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party.

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Author writes of boy discovering he’s gay in deep South

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) | After service one Sunday, little Greg Howard wandered past one of the church ladies, who was confiding to another nearby.

“It would kill his mama,” the woman said, “if she knew he was funny.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde

By : Aaron Drake
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Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde met through Facebook in December of 2017. The two met in person on New Year’s Day of this year in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

“After one month chatting by Facebook and video call,[Steven] drove 5 hours on New Year’s Eve into Hilton Head Island and arrived at 9 a.m.,” Oviedo shares. “It was a big surprise for me.”

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Same-sex marriage case before Supreme Court has ties to civil rights decision

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The upcoming Supreme Court argument about a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple makes some civil rights lawyers think of South Carolina’s Piggie Park barbecue.

When two African-Americans parked their car at a Piggie Park drive-in in August 1964 in Columbia, South Carolina, the waitress who came out to serve them turned back once she saw they were black and didn’t take their order.

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Lawmaker: Louisiana domestic abuse laws risk nullification

By : Jeremy Williams
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A Louisiana lawmaker fears women and children could lose crucial domestic violence protections if his colleagues refuse to join 48 states that have widened the safeguards to include same-sex couples.

Rep. Patrick Connick wants to remove the requirement that a victim be of the opposite sex of the alleged offender to be considered a victim of domestic violence.

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South Carolina’s 1st openly gay lawmaker from deep-red district

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s first openly gay legislator hails from the unlikeliest of places: an ultra-conservative part of the state that is home to the Christian fundamentalist school Bob Jones University.

Republican Rep. Jason Elliott, a 46-year-old divorce attorney, said his sexual orientation was not an issue in his campaign and is irrelevant to his job at the Statehouse, as his focus will be on improving education, increasing jobs and repairing the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. He expects his votes to align with his GOP colleagues.

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