RELIGION

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

  • Rep. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, second from left, and attorney Deb Tedeschi, second from right, talk outside of the House chamber Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

    Rep. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, second from left, and attorney Deb Tedeschi, second from right, talk outside of the House chamber Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)  (The Associated Press)

  • Reps. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, left, and Jimmy Bales, D-Richland, right, walk through the South Carolina Statehouse Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

    Reps. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, left, and Jimmy Bales, D-Richland, right, walk through the South Carolina Statehouse Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rep. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, right, discusses paperwork with Executive Assistant Doris Taylor, left, at the state capitol Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

    Rep. Jason Elliott, R-Greenville, right, discusses paperwork with Executive Assistant Doris Taylor, left, at the state capitol Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. Recently elected in November, Elliott is a 46-year old attorney and South Carolina's first openly gay legislator. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)  (The Associated Press)

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 says his sexual orientation was not an issue in his campaign and is irrelevant to his job at the Statehouse.

The 46-year-old Greenville attorney ousted four-term GOP incumbent Rep. Wendy Nanney, a Bob Jones graduate.

The challenger's winning message against the former Greenville County GOP chair was largely old-fashioned constituent service.

Deeply Republican South Carolina becomes the 43rd state with an openly gay legislator. Elliott does not view his election as particularly significant but says it shows "folks in general are more accepting of others who may not be 100 percent like them."