Before UNT Vote, a Debate Over Allowing Same-Sex Couples on Homecoming Court

He sounded a little groggy when he spoke to Unfair Park this morning. But University of North Texas junior Stephen Michael Benavides had a long night: The chair of ACLU's student chapter spent Thursday night appealing to the UNT Supreme Court to adopt language of a failed bill and allow same-sex couples to run for homecoming court.

The Student Senate had failed to pass an earlier bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to run. Later, the Student Government Association drafted legislation for a student referendum on whether "same-sex and/or gender-neutral couples should be able to run for homecoming court," as it says on the school's Student Government Association Web site, where voting begins November 16.

The SGA president, Dakota Carter, helped draft the legislation. "I decided that the people who are voting for those who can win homecoming should be the ones making the rules for who can run," she tells Unfair Park.

Benavides, though, doesn't think such a decision should fall to the student body and will appeal to SGA in the coming week to change its plans. "You should never impose majority opinion in place of minority rights," Benavides says.

"If you can't get the right or the equality to run as a same-sex couple for homecoming court at a university, and university campuses are liberal compared to the rest of the nation, then we've got a big problem here," said Benavides. "If you can't do it on a university, how are you going to do it on a national stage?"

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Kimberly Thorpe
Contact: Kimberly Thorpe