SC politics: Effort to build gay marriage support moves South

February 24, 2014 

Effort to build gay marriage support heads South

A new effort is underway in the South to ride the momentum of recent moves elsewhere in the nation in favor of same-sex marriage, hoping to build wider acceptance that eventually will overturn gay marriage bans in the region.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among those kicking off the “Southerners for the Freedom to Marry” campaign Monday, saying he thinks gay marriage supporters are on the “right side of history.”

The $1 million effort will be focused on field organizing and sharing the stories of gay couples through local community and business events as well as social media in 14 Southern states, including South Carolina.

South Carolina, Georgia and the other states either have a constitutional or statutory provision defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Scott, 3 House members, scores high with Club for Growth

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and a trio of South Carolina’s U.S. House members led the state’s congressional delegation on a 2013 scorecard released Monday by the libertarian-leaning Club for Growth.

Scott, R-North Charleston, was the highest ranked of any S.C. lawmaker, ranking sixth in the Senate with a 94 percent rating for the year.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, ranked 39th in the Senate, with a 65 percent rating and a 75 percent lifetime rating. Graham faces five GOP primary challengers, including state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, who has a 100 percent rating with the S.C. Club for Growth, which issues scorecards for the S.C. General Assembly.

In the U.S. House: Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens; Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, and Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, tied at eighth, scoring 97 percent. Mark Sanford, R-Charleston, ranked 16th with a 95 percent rating.

Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, ranked 76th, with a 78 percent rating. Tom Rice, R-Myrtle Beach, ranked 89th, with a 76 percent rating. Jim Clyburn of Columbia, the South Carolina delegation’s sole Democrat, ranked 307th on the House scorecard with a 2013 rating of 15 percent.

Governor’s schedule and activities

Gov. Nikki Haley’s publicly announced schedule for the remainder of this week, released Monday by her staff, is:

Tuesday, 12:20 p.m.: Address the Rotary of Greenville

Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.: State Budget and Control Board meeting, State House

Wednesday, 12:30 p.m.: Join the S.C. National Guard and state Department of Employment and Workforce for the launch of Operation Palmetto Employment, Columbia

According to her office, the governor’s activities last week included:

5 each – Five meetings or calls concerning emergency operations related to the recent ice storm; Republican Governors Association meetings in Washington, D.C.; economic development calls or meetings

3 each – Media availabilities; speeches, to the Spartanburg Downtown Rotary, a Palmetto Conservative Alliance-S.C. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event in Greenville, and the S.C. Automotive Council’s third annual S.C. auto summit in Greenville; calls to or meetings concerning state agencies

2 each – Legislative meetings, and meetings with members of the Obama Administration, with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and a White House with President Obama and fellow governors

1 each – Cabinet employee appreciation luncheon, and a staff meeting

Busiest day – Tuesday, with six activities

Slowest day – Friday, with three activities

Of note – Haley also had seven events Saturday and Sunday, all associated with either the Republican Governors or the Obama Administration

The Associated Press, Jamie Self and staff contributed

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