LGBT College Kids Can Breathe Easy with Death of Anti-Gay Bills in Legislature, Aggie Senate

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Yesterday morning, things seemed grim for Texas' gay and transgendered college students, particularly those fortunate to call themselves Aggies.

They faced an assault from two fronts. On the one hand, you had the A&M student senate passing a bill allowing students to opt out of funding the school's GLBT Resource Center. On the other, you had state Representative Bill Zedler, who proposed a budget amendment to defund the same center, as well as its cousins at public universities across the state.

Each offered their own rationale for the moves. The student senate proposal was grounded on the idea that students might have "religious or moral reasons" for objecting to homosexuality. Zedler's was couched in terms of public health, pitching the amendment as a way to help prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs.

LGBT college students and their allies can breath a little easier now. Yesterday, Zedler quietly withdrew his amendment. The measure that passed the Aggie senate this week on a 35-28 vote was vetoed by A&M's student body president, John Claybrook.

Zedler, as is his style, hasn't said much. Claybrook issued an open letter explaining his rationale which, in the end, is that "the good accomplished through this bill pales in comparison to the damage done."

With that, the LGBT resource centers at this state's public universities, whose only offense seems to be sending the message that it's being gay is OK, are safe -- at least until next legislative session.

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21 comments
roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

So where is the S Resource Center on campus?  If the GLBT people get a resource center then there should be straight resource center as well.  Can't GLBT people get resources there too?   Do they have a African American  resource center, a Caucasian resource center, and an Asian resource center and a Hispanic resource center?  Do they have separate male and female resource centers?  How about they have one resource center for everyone that caters to all people?  The GLBT Aggies want segregation and Jim Crow treatment.  I don't want to hear about discrimination against GLBT people when they are supporting discrimination of their own.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Good for Mr. Claybrook and Texas A&M in general.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

Are the students currently funding heterosexual groups, based purely on the fact that they prefer to sleep with the opposite sex?  If not, then why are they publicly funding a group that is based purely on the relative differentiation of their romantic partners at all?  Why is this not a group completely funded by those who gain something by being a part of its membership? 

More to the global view-in a time where the US government actively recruits immigrants to this country to fill scientific and technical positions why is a school that is a part of the failure of American higher education wasting time with this issue (support groups OF ANY KIND)  while it continues to ignore the fact that many universities turn out graduates who can't compete?  But, rest easy, the LGBT kids that will graduate will have had a supportive learning environment as they make coffee for the woman from Pakistan or the man from Asia (whose school couldn't have cared less whether its students felt supported) as they stop by on their way to meaningful jobs. 

Many colleges and universities gave up educating years ago and instead, became mills, grinding dollars from its students.  Even better if those dollars are from federally backed student loans, because unlike parents who demand results from the investment, Uncle Sam doesn't care.   

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

Was anyone suprised that A&M was possibly anti-gay?  I thought it was odd when people freaked out about Chick-Fil-A. 

You want A&M to become a shine for the anti-gay movement, keep protesting it.

Not taking sides, just saying don't feed the monster.

DMZ3
DMZ3

I think the anti-gay forces are pretty much resigned to holding their ground at this point. There are these attempts to push back against same-sex equality (which is supported by pretty much most people now), but they don't seem to be doing very well. So that's really good news.

Daniel
Daniel

@roadsidecouch

"Do they have a African American  resource center, a Caucasian resource center, and an Asian resource center and a Hispanic resource center?  Do they have separate male and female resource centers?"

You didn't go to a university, did you? YES. Yes, they do have an African American resource center, an Asian resource center, a Hispanic resource center, a woman's center, etc. Plus a Catholic resource center, a Baptist resource center, a Hindu resource center ... probably in excess of 100 resource centers at any large university.  Plus debate societies, student film organizations and the like. Sororities and fraternities also enjoy official recognition and at least some funding under university auspices. As do (usually) the Campus Democrats and, yes, you guessed it, the Caucasian resour -- um, I mean the Campus Republicans. 

JackJett
JackJett

I think you comment about catering to all people is an excellent one and fit perfect with our gay marriage request.

Gay marriage is NOT a special right, it is a right that caters to all people.  We are NOT asking for a SPECIAL place to marry. 

And to answer your question, it has been a while since I was in school but I remember all sorts of social groups on campus and most of them seemed to be geared towards beer.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@russell.allison1 

Maybe someday, Russel, there will be only one support services entity that will address the physical / mental health of all of the students and we wouldn't need to continually differentiate ourselves with labels such as LGBT. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Then people wouldn't get all bent out of shape worrying that "the gays" are getting something that nobody else is getting, or that we (the "royal" we) are funding something that only benefits a few people at the expense of the sensibilities of the majority.

What I'm saying is that maybe, someday we will all consider each other persons worthy of respect and all of the benefits that our society can bestow upon a citizen without regard to their personal proclivities re: sex, costume, religious belief, etc. . .

Sadly, it seems that today is not that day. 

DMZ3
DMZ3

@russell.allison1 I'm gay and went to a university with LGBT resources, but I only went for the counseling. Still, the way I would explain this: gay students who are 18 or 19 years old have a lot of difficulties that are not faced by heterosexual students. They may not be able to safely come out to their own family. They may feel isolated and alone and have no one to confide to. They face higher levels of depression and suicide than the heterosexual population. They may not be able to find other gay students very easily. They face sexual health risks that are often ignored or neglected by campus health providers. (Those are a few examples.)

So the resource centers are designed to provide a supportive environment, to put it nicely, for these students. Coupled with that are specialized mental and physical health resources that focus on the specific and particular needs of the LGBT students. Because without that, there's a lot of problems. It's not purely because they sleep with people of the opposite sex. 

JackJett
JackJett

Are you suggesting that the gay community is asking for special rights?  If so, can you explain? 

It should not be considered a special right to marry, it is an equal right.  A "special right" would be, for example, an organization asking to be exempt from paying taxes as they are based in religion.  So you do understand that when it comes to marriage, gays are not asking the government to pay for it.

DMZ3
DMZ3

@Rumpunch1 I thought the surprising thing was the reaction against the student government by A&M students. It seems there are anti-gay folks in positions of (relative) power at the university, but this doesn't reflect the university as a whole, or even mostly.

JackJett
JackJett

Rumpunch....I know you prefer the quiet approach.  We shouldn't stir up any shit and in staying quiet eventually the Government and Religious organizations will give us equal rights when they deem it to be the right time.

I understand that.  My question is that if we go your route............What year do you think the Christianista's and Baggerettes will allow me to marry my partner of 20 years?  Now, remember, I am in my 50's and most likely will not live to be 485, much less 2,485.

Just let me know how that works out.  Also, when is it okay to protest or stand up for what you think is only fair and right?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@DMZ3 

The whole marriage thing does seem to have a "We'll make our stand here, and surrender no more ground!" quality about it for the strict traditionalists.

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

@Daniel 

When I went to UT there was a fee supported student union building and some fee supported athletic buildings where intermurals took place but that was it.  They had student groups and some of those groups got some funding from the student government, but most did not.  And most were required to allow anyone to join them.    There were Catholic Centers etc... but they were all privately funded and they were not on state property.  The idea to the state of Texas is funding separate organizations like the GLBT Resource center instead of one single resource center means they are getting privileged treatment.  Why?  Do you support segregation?  Why stop there, lets segregate the races again.  If it is good for the GLBT then it is good for the African Americans etc...  People have fought too hard to get recognition, getting separate facilities is a step backwards. 

Daniel
Daniel

Don't have all day to google, but the University of Delaware (first hit where the info was right on the hit page) has 300-plus student centers. Opting out of the GLBT center would have saved a student about $2 a year and probably forced the center to shut down. Meanwhile, GLBT students would have had to fund the Baptist student center, etc., with their student fees. How is that fair?   

JackJett
JackJett

What is a personal proclivity re:sex, costume, religious belief?

Just curious and a bit confused.

Daniel
Daniel

@roadsidecouch @Daniel Your point has merit, but it lacks context. There would be hundreds of eggs to unscramble -- not just this one. Or, to use another metaphor, that train  has left the station. Student resource centers already cater to special interest groups of all stripes; to tell students they can opt out of the tiny portion of their student fees that supports the GLBT organization, but give them no such option with other campus-sponsored or subsidized organizations, is flagrantly discriminatory.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JackJett

I suppose I could have dispensed with the qualifier personal.

pro·cliv·i·ty  [proh-kliv-i-tee]  Show IPAnoun, plural pro·cliv·i·ties.natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition:a proclivity to meticulousness.Origin: 
1585–95;  < Latin prōclīvitās  tendency, literally, a steep descent,steepness, equivalent to prōclīv is sloping forward, steep ( prō-pro-1  + clīv us slope + -is  adj. suffix) + -itās -ity
Synonyms 
bent, leaning, disposition.
Antonyms 
aversion.Dictionary.com Unabridged

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