TAKE ACTION: Join Clemson students calling on football coach to bow out of anti-LGBT fundraiser

LGBT and allied Clemson University students are calling on Clemson football coach, Dabo Swinney to bow out of an upcomimg anti-LGBT fundraiser. Swinney is scheduled to appear at a June 2 fundraiser for the Palmetto Family Council (PFC), a notoriously anti-LGBT organization in South Carolina.

Students have organized a Change.org petition, noting the statements and positions that PFC has taken, and how they are out of line with the values of the Clemson University. Clemson University has an inclusion policy that states, "Clemson University aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences."

The Palmetto Family Council has a long history of extreme statements and actions that have opposed the acceptance of LGBT South Carolinians. According to their website, they "condemn homosexuality and other forms of sexual sin" and call homosexuality "physically, spiritually or emotionally damaging." They have pressured South Carolina schools to drop LGBT-themed books from their reading programs.

GLAAD Vice President of Programs Zeke Stokes, a South Carolina native, joined the students' call for Swinney to withdraw from the event.

"Coach Swinney has an obligation to the players he leads and all students who attend Clemson to use his considerable profile to promote causes that bring us together, not tear us apart," said Stokes. "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 alignment with them sends."

Petition organizer and Clemson student William Ta'oma writes:

As a prominent representative of the University, Dabo Swinney's appearance and fundraising for the Palmetto Family Council will serve to promote these ideas and actions which harm the mission and goals of the University and the interests of the student body. We, the petitioners, call on Coach Swinney to withdraw from his appearance at the June 2nd fundraiser.

TAKE ACTION:

Join William and his fellow Clemson students in calling on Coach Dabo Swinney to act in accordance with the values of Clemson University and respectfully bow out of the Palmetto Family Council fundraiser. Sign the petition now and share with your friends.