State gay activists are rallying support to sideline another anti-gay effort in the legislature. Bills introduced in both the House and the Senate would create standards for educating teens on dating violence. An effort last year to define these relationships as strictly heterosexual, ignoring the very real threat that young gay and lesbian teens face in their own relationships, was beat back after community opposition. But the amendment has been attached to another bill currently in the Senate Education Committee.
Not only are gays and lesbians just as likely to be victims of dating violence, they may be even more at risk because of the sometimes secretive nature of their relationships.
“If conservatives and liberals could agree on one issue in this state, I would think it would be that all violence towards children is wrong,” says Ray Drew, executive director of the statewide gay advocacy group S.C. Equality. “This is state sanctioned abuse of gay teenagers, and the legislature ought to be ashamed of itself.”
Here’s our piece from last year regarding the House dating violence bill.