South Carolina Rep. John Graham Altman killed a bill which would protect the victims of domestic abuse against their batterers. He had this to say for himself:
“I mean you women want it one way and not another. Women want to punish the men, and I do not understand why women continue to go back around men who abuse them…. tell me what self respecting person is going back around someone who beats them?”
The legislation would have made domestic abuse a felony in South Carolina. (Currently, it’s only a misdemeanor, legally equal to, say, littering or jay-walking.) Domestic abuse is a deadly serious problem in this country. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has received over a million calls for assistance from abused women in the past decade. In fact, statistics show nearly one-third of American women report having been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. According to the American Institute on Domestic Violence, on average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.
Altman may refuse to make it a felony to beat your wife, but heaven help you if you hurt a chicken. The same week he killed the domestic abuse bill, the congressman voted to protect gamecocks from cockfights, shuddering:
“I was all for that. Cockfighting reminds me of the Roman circus, coliseum.”