Those brave, lonesome souls who make up the GLBT Aggies have got another crisis on their hands.
A bill introduced into the student senate would allow Aggies to "opt out" of having their student fees going to support the gay-rights group.
Supporters of the bill say it's based on religious freedom: It calls for "allowing students who object, for religious purposes, to the use of their student fees and tuition to fund this [GLBT] Center to opt out of paying an amount equal to their share of the Center's funding from their fee and tuition bills."
The gay-rights group doesn't see it that way, however. They note that the bill:
claims to promote religious freedom, [but] we cannot ignore that it only allows students with one religious belief to control how their student fees are used: only religious traditions that disapprove of LGBT interests are given a voice. A bill truly dedicated to allowing religious designation of fees would make the opportunity available to students of all faiths toward whatever policy creates a moral conflict of interest for them.
The GLBT Center will be staging a show of support for blocking the bill April 3, with the group urging Aggies of all types to attend.
"As a student body we all contribute funds to various campus resources that we do not all use," said GLBT Aggies president Kimberly J. Villa. "We do this to better the environment in which we all have our academic experiences. It is offensive and unacceptable to mask this discriminatory bill against our community as an issue of religion."
The center has had to fight similar battles since a court ruled in 1985 that Texas A&M had to recognize the group.
Somehow, we're sure this won't be the last one.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.