Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney is set to appear at a fundraising event for the Palmetto Family Council, an organization dedicated to fighting against equality for LGBT people and same-sex couples. The Council's vision, as written on its Web site, makes advancements toward equality and inclusion for LGBT people target No. 1:
"Our vision is to transform the culture in South Carolina by promoting the values and virtues of marriage, the traditional family model, and sexual purity."
The head of the Family Council was one of the authors of the South Carolina Constitutional Amendment against same-sex marriage.
Various people and organizations are calling for Swinney to pull out of the event. GLAAD vice president of programs Zeke Stokes, who grew up in South Carolina, doesn't want to see such a prominent sports figure attending an event that revolves around discrimination and bigotry.
"Coach Swinney has an obligation to the players he leads and all students that attend Clemson to use his considerable profile to promote causes that bring us together, not tear us apart," Stokes said on GLAAD's Web site. "The Palmetto Family Council's values are out of line with the values of love and acceptance for all people, and I hope the Coach will reconsider the message that his aligment with them sends."
People within South Carolina are also pushing back. From The State:
"I find it highly inappropriate that Coach Swinney would appear at a fundraiser for an organization that is so openly discriminatory and politically motivated," House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, said in a statement. "I cannot fathom why Coach Swinney or anyone else would knowingly assist a group whose mission is to fight against equal rights and equal treatment of others."
A Change.org petition has been started by Clemson student William Ta'oma asking Swinney to back out of the event.
Stay tuned for more...