A bill aimed at punishing violent offenders in teen relationships is receiving criticism because it does not apply to homosexuals.Gay and lesbian youth are just as susceptible and in just as much risk as straight youth to become victim to emotional or physical violence in dating relationships, said Jessica Cook, Board Member with South Carolina Equality.
If passed, the legislation would require public schools to help educate students about dating violence, including counseling referrals for the abuser and the victim.Our criminal domestic violence codes only address heterosexual couples, said Columbia Representative Joan Brady.
Brady is a sponsor of the bill and said her intent is to get the bill passed without changing the state TMs current policies on sexuality which doesn TMt recognize homosexual couples.Inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior, said Sumter Sentor Phil Leventis.
Leventis said he doesn TMt want the bill to move forward unless the legislature agrees to include gays and lesbians.
The bill will head to a subcommitte on February 17th. WACH FOX News will continue to follow this story and update it as we gather more information.