Greenville Co. Council to look into current validity of 1996 ‘anti-gay’ resolution

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GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA) — The Greenville County Council has asked its attorney to look into the current validity of the 1996 resolution that denounced gay lifestyles.

The attorney, Mark Tollison, will also look into avenues to prevent the county council from making social resolutions in the future.

The LGBTQ+ non-profit group Upstate Pride SC recently asked the council to rescind the resolution.

Its members attended Tuesday’s meeting and several spoke to council members during the public comment period following the meeting.

“In May 1996, Greenville County Council passed a resolution stating that the homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with community standards,” the group said in a letter posted on its website. “It is time to remove this bigotry as the official position of the Greenville County Council.”

District 25 Councilman Ennis Fant said the request to rescind the resolution was not on the agenda because it is no longer relevant.

Fant said the measure effectively expired the same year it was passed in a 9-3 vote.

“Decisions made by one council cannot bind the next council,” he said. “So that resolution that was passed in ’96 effectively died on December 31st of that year.”

Fant went on to say it was not within the 1996 council’s scope to pass the measure in the first place.

“We have three primary responsibilities: public safety, infrastructure and land management,” he said. “We don’t go into social issues. I’m more concerned about paving roads that desperately need to be paved than who gets to love whom.”

Upstate Pride SC said while its leaders understand the resolution is no longer applicable, they believe “it’s pertinent that the view of the past county council be officially addressed and withdrawn.”

Members of the group said they were happy the issue is now getting further attention from the county.

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