“I want our young people prepared for workforce and the LGBT minor does not assist them toward that goal,” Republican congressmean Jeff Landry wrote in a letter to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s president, Joseph Savoie. “Our neighbors and students should trust that the education dollars they spent at University of Louisiana at Lafayette will be used to further their careers, not a political agenda.”
Speaking of a political agenda, did we mention that Landry is currently in a re-election race with fellow Republican incumbent congressman Charles Boustany? Landry’s opposition certainly appeals to conservative groups like the Louisiana Family Forum, which has been hellbent on preserving so-called “Louisiana values.” And nothing draws support like the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs! But, wait, this all couldn’t be some thinly-veiled attempt to win votes, could it?
You hear that? Of course not since we ain’t friggin’ whistlin’ Dixie.
Meanwhile, Landry’s position is surprising — not just because it has more holes than a Dunkin Donut franchise — but because his brother is openly gay and openly opposes him on the subject. But all is fair in love and politics.
Savoie, for his part, refuses to bend to Landry and the Family Forum’s pressure — least of all because it would mean the loss of the university’s accreditation since bowing to political pressure in deciding course offerings is a surefire way to do just that. The university president responded to Landry’s letter with a letter of his own: “Experienced graduates will need to have a broad breath of knowledge, flexibility, drive and compassion. They will need to be able to think across platforms, understand society and culture and see technology and training as tools, rather than an end to themselves.”
An end other than himself is something Landry couldn’t hope to understand — probably because he didn’t take any of these highfalutin liberal-leaning courses.
Anne Johnson, director of the liberal student advocacy group Campus Rights, perhaps put it best: “The LGBT Studies minor is a positive step toward healthier and more inclusive campuses and will lead to more accepting and tolerant workforces and communities. Rep. Landry is free to deny the existence of LGBT people, but the academic programs shouldn’t be subject to a backward brand of politics young Americans rejected long ago.”
Looks like while she may have been out of school for some time, Ms. Johnson has not forgotten how to read.
Photo: U.S. Congress/Wikipedia