Metro Weekly

Clemson football coach planning to attend anti-gay group’s fundraiser

Palmetto Family Council mission is in "direct opposition" to school inclusion policy

“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.”

Dabo Swinney

— Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s vice president of programs and a South Carolina native, commenting on the news that Clemson University’s football coach, Dabo Swinney, is scheduled to appear at a June 2 fundraiser for the Palmetto Family Council (PFC), a group that opposes LGBT rights.

Since its founding in 1993, the socially conservative PFC has worked to push for a partial birth abortion ban, end video poker, promote school prayer, pressure colleges, through the threat of funding cuts, to drop LGBT-themed books from required reading lists, and amend the state’s constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. 

“The Palmetto Family Council’s values are out of line with the values of love and acceptance for all people,” said Stokes. “And I hope the Coach will reconsider the message that his alignment with them sends.” 

Clemson student William Ta’oma has started a petition on Change.org calling for Swinney to pull out of the fundraiser. The petition says that the mission and values of the PFC “stand in direct opposition” to Clemson’s inclusion policy, which specifically states that the 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.” So far, only 149 people have signed the petition.

Image: Dabo Swinney. Credit: Clemson Tigers.com — the official website of Clemson University Athletics.

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