LGBT Centers at Texas universities have overcome two threats that could have led to a defunding of programs in the state.
One came from the state’s Congress, called the Zedler Amendment, filed by Congressman Bill Zedler (R-TX), which would have halted all state funding to LGBT Centers. The second came from inside Texas A&M University’s student senatorial panel that would have allowed students to refuse to pay fees that support homosexuality because of religious affiliations.
It was a full frontal assault on the existence of LGBT centers in one of the country’s largest state run university systems.
The Zedler Amendment was based on the belief that LGBT centers are public health hazards because they promote homosexuality and thus the spread of HIV, while the university’s student senatorial panel’s attack was grounded on the idea that students might have “religious reasons” for objecting to homosexuality and so should not have to pay fees that support behavior that they object to.”¨”¨
The Zedler Amendment was quietly withdrawn last week. Republican Congressman Bill Zedler has not made a comment on this issue and refused to give a statement to 429Magazine.
The representative filed the amendment on April 2 to the general appropriations act, SB1, which would have prevented public universities and colleges from funding LGBT resource centers and other “gender and sexuality and related student centers.”
The Zedler Amendment faced criticism from the state’s democratic leaders, who cited the deliberately obscure language and claimed the amendment was a public danger that could be used to defund any health resource center, including women’s health centers.
The university’s student senatorial measure that aimed to defund LGBT centers on religious grounds was also stopped last week. Though the measure did receive a majority vote of 35-28 and came dangerously close to implementation, JohnClaybrook, the Student Body President, vetoed the measure.
“Although much adjusted in its final form, what this bill represents still remains and must be done away with. The good accomplished through this bill pales in comparison to the damage done and the damage must stop today,” Claybrook said in a press release.
LGBT Centers at public universities will remain open and funded in Texas.