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

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.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson