By Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney cancelled an appearance at the Palmetto Family Council next month after a state lawmaker criticized him because the group opposes same-sex marriage.

Swinney was to be honored as the group’s “South Carolina Family Champion of 2015” at a June 2 gathering. State Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, called on Swinney not to appear because of the council’s views.

The coach said in a statement Wednesday he has no association with the Palmetto Family Council and his inclusion at the event was incorrectly perceived as endorsing particular viewpoints. Swinney thought the award was for the work of his “All In Foundation” and said he canceled because he didn’t want to create a distraction for the program.

A council statement said it understands Swinney’s choice not to attend.

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