Jim DeMint

S Carolina's 1st openly gay lawmaker from deep-red district

South Carolina's first openly gay legislator hails from the unlikeliest of places: an ultra-conservative part of the state that is home to the Christian fundamentalist school Bob Jones University.

Republican Rep. Jason Elliott, a 46-year-old divorce attorney, said his sexual orientation was not an issue in his campaign and is irrelevant to his job at the Statehouse, as his focus will be on improving education, increasing jobs and repairing the state's crumbling roads and bridges. He expects his votes to align with his GOP colleagues.

"Every South Carolinian has equal rights, not special rights, and I believe each part of the constitution is equally important," he...

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