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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina legislators want to punish two public colleges for assigning books on homosexuality to freshmen.

The House budget-writing committee tentatively approved Wednesday a spending plan for 2014-15 that would cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from the University of South Carolina Upstate.

Republican Rep. Garry Smith says that's what the colleges said they spent on what he called a promotion of a lifestyle. He says he made the proposal after college officials refused to give students an option to read something else. He says it's about making a point.

The committee defeated 13-10 an effort by Republican Rep. B.R. Skelton to restore the money. Skelton says such retribution is inappropriate.

Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter says legislators have no right pushing their own personal beliefs onto colleges.

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