Alex Blaze

Texas Moves to Defund Campus LGBT Centers

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 25, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: LGBT, resources, Texas, texas a&m, university

Inside Higher Ed has an article on the Texas bill that would require the same funding for pro-heterosexual campus groups that LGBT groups receive. gay-statues.jpgThe last I saw of this bill it made little sense since almost everything on college campuses is set up to promote heterosexuality, but it seems that the actual reason for the bill is to defund LGBT campus resources:

But the Young Conservatives of Texas, a group that worked with Christian on the legislation, did so with the hope that public colleges would respond to a law, if the bill passes, by ending support for existing centers. Tony McDonald, senior vice chairman of the group and a law student at UT Austin, said in an interview that "we could try to get these groups defunded" in a law, but that the equal funding approach was viewed as more likely to pass (perhaps with the same impact).

As Jake posted, the student senate of Texas A&M supports the bill. And they specify that they don't actually want a "traditional values" center funded, just the LGBT Resource center on campus defunded:

While centers in Texas await the outcome of the budget bill, the debate has already accelerated at Texas A&M University, where the leadership of the Student Senate is pushing the university to go on record by saying that it would not increase student fees to create traditional values centers, but would cut the existing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center in half to finance a new center. In debate over the issue, advocates for traditional values centers said that straight students who may be questioning their sexuality need a center just as much as gay students do. Students said it was important to create "an equal playing field" for those who may disagree with the gay center. (The discussion may be viewed here, starting about 1 hour and 45 minutes into the meeting.)

There isn't an equal playing field right now - straight students can go anywhere and be affirmed in their sexuality, while queer students have that resource center and... then they have to find out, one by one, each and every person they meet, who's open-minded and who isn't.

I don't see how defunding the LGBT Resource Center solves that unequal playing field.

But that's actually where these folks are coming from, the "straight people are the real oppressed minority" position:

While supporters of the centers have said that they are needed to provide support for students who are in a minority on campus, McDonald said that it is actually traditional students who lack power. "If I were to walk through UT law school with a shirt on that said, 'Homosexuality is immoral,' if I were to do that, there would be an uproar. People would be upset, and it would be considered out of place and not acceptable to do that. I'd probably get a talking to. But if you go through campus to promote homosexuality, that is the norm."

Because wearing a T-shirt that says "Homosexuality is immoral" is the very definition of heterosexuality.

There's a lot of stupid here, and the fact that there are quite a few young people supporting this kind of homophobic stupid should give pause to people who think that LGBT rights are just going to happen as time goes on, as the younger generation gets more power.

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"If I were to walk through UT law school with a shirt on that said, 'Homosexuality is immoral,' if I were to do that, there would be an uproar. People would be upset, and it would be considered out of place and not acceptable to do that. I'd probably get a talking to. But if you go through campus to promote homosexuality, that is the norm."

Once upon a time, walking through a major Texas college building with a T-shirt saying "Slavery is immoral" would have gotten the wearer a "talking to" -- quite possibly, quite a bit more.

There was also a time when walking the same steps wearing a T-shirt saying "Gay is good!" would have gotten the wearer a "talking to" -- or worse.

If the conservative students choose to wear "Homosexuality is immoral" T-shirts, that is protected free speech -- but there is nothing about free speech that guarantees everyone will agree with you.

They are not complaining about not being allowed to express their opinion. They are instead complaining simply that some people, maybe a significant number, will disagree with them.

Calling this a defunding is disingenuous, most of the article focuses on the opinion of A&M's Student Senate, not the Texas state government, which are two seperate entities.

It also quotes the org that helped write the bill, saying that the goal is to defund the LGBT centers.

Why should the university fund any type of group catering to specific races, genders, or sexual orientations? Ignoring the fact that most of these LGBT groups are nothing more than a meat market, sexual orientation clubs belong on the strip, not beside a classroom. Go back to having a chess club, a film club, and other academic clubs. Quit using precious funds for groups which attract and alienate some based only on sexual prejudices.

Because it helps those students do better in school? I'd guess that's why they are seen as a net positive by minorities while the majority often views them with contempt and tries to eliminate them.