The South Carolina House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a bill defining anti-Semitism for colleges after its main sponsor asked his colleagues to “send a strong message that South Carolina opposes bigotry.”
GOP Rep. Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach said he hopes the bill, approved 103–3 Thursday, will help stem the tide of vandalism and threats on college campuses driven by hatred of Jews. Opponents have said it could limit First Amendment rights to criticize Israel.
Clemmons says it’s about helping administrators determine intent when considering whether someone has violated a college’s anti-discrimination policies.
Rep. Jonathon Hill initially signed on but removed his name and voted no. The Townville Republican says the bill’s aim is admirable, but state law shouldn’t single out protections for a specific group.