South Carolina became the 43rd state to elect an openly gay lawmaker with the election of Republican Representative Jason Elliott.

Elliott ousted four-term GOP incumbent Rep. Wendy Nanney to represent the state's 22nd district, which includes parts of Greenville, home to the Christian fundamentalist school Bob Jones University. After the Supreme Court in 2015 found that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry, the university released a statement condemning the decision as creating “a threat to religious liberty.”

Elliott, 46, told The Charlotte Observer that his sexual orientation was not an issue during the campaign, though he acknowledged that he did not make it part of his campaign.

“Every South Carolinian has equal rights, not special rights, and I believe each part of the constitution is equally important,” he said. “In South Carolina, that means respecting other people's viewpoints and protecting religious freedom.”

“There are people who have a 100 percent opposite viewpoint from me on the orientation issue, and I respect that, and I understand that, and I'm not threatened by that,” he added. “I think what it says, though, is that we are accepting the fact that people are different from us and that we are a state that is moving toward being open to folks who aren't exactly like us.”

A divorce attorney and former prosecutor, Elliott said that he didn't come out until his early thirties. He is raising a high school senior with his ex-wife.

According to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska and Tennessee have yet to elect an openly gay legislator.