Texas A&M Votes To Let Students “Opt Out” Of Funding LGBT Center

facebook aggieThe student senate at Texas A&M University  voted Wednesday night to allow students to opt-out of having their activities fees fund the campus LGBT center.

The measure, which passed 35-28, was originally called the “GLBT Funding Opt Out Bill” but was rechristened as the less-bigoted sounding “Religious Funding Exemption Bill.”

A quick perusal of the TAMU website reveals more than a dozen student groups have a decided religious bent, including the A&M Baha’i Club, Freshmen Leaders In Christ, Reach Collegiate Ministries and a campus Hillel.

Can students opt out of allowing those groups to use campus funds, resources or venues?

The vote itself was an emotional event,  The Eagle reports, as “some senators cursed, and some students stormed out. The woman tallying the senators’ decision started crying as the votes were cast.”

Student Aaron Ackerman defended the bill, saying forcing students to pay for a gay center was tantamount to forcing doctors to perform abortions: “I just want to show how dangerous a philosophy is that some organization, government or otherwise, can make a person do what is against their most deeply held beliefs.”

Lets hope he’s not pre-law.

TAMU has repeatedly been ranked among the least gay-friendly universities in America by the Princeton Review and Campus Pride.  In 1976, the school denied recognition of a campus LGBT group, forcing students to to file a lawsuit. Their eventual victory resulted in the removal of all legal restrictions against gay-rights groups on college campuses.

A&M Student Body President John Claybrook hasn’t announced whether or not he will attempt to veto the current discriminatory measure. “I don’t wish students to be disenfranchised with this or anything that this body does, because these are students who have a home here and who are cared about by thousands and thousands of students,” he said. “The actions by a few should not make them feel like this is not their home.”

Things are bleak for campus LGBT groups in the Lone Star State: Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) has tacked on an amendment to a general appropriations bill that would defund any school with a dedicated LGBT resources center. That measure could be voted on today, but the University of Houston Student Government Association has already unanimously passed a resolution opposing it.

Photo: GLBT Aggies Facebook page


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  • Caleb in SC

    So can students vote to defund Jewish organizations if it offends their religious beliefs? Discrimination pure and simple. Texas has become the armpit of bigotry in this country.

  • RomanHans

    Hmm. I just know Fox News is going to be in an uproar now that religious people are being granted special rights.

  • Spike

    Reason #8,245 why Texas needs to seeceed from the US.

    This is the same school where the grass around the student union is considered a memorial to dead A&M alum and no one steps on it, the students stand thru entire football games because come lame 12th man tradition where they think they will be ready and willing fill in if their short one player, oh yea and then there is the end of the school year bonfire that collapsed while building it a few years ago, killing numerous engineer students, apparently not the best engineer students.

    Why anyone gay would choose to go to A&M, shouldn’t be surprised by this sort of hate.

  • mlbumiller

    Does that mean the student can opt out of funding any religeous groups on campus?

  • Aidan8

    I wonder if student Aaron Ackerman thinks it’s ok for the broad student body to fund the Hillel center on campus? I mean really? Forcing people to pay for something they don’t believe in…. how outrageous. Shall people who don’t drive cars be exempt from chipping in toward road and bridge construction? I mean really Aaron… isn’t that socialism?


    Unfortunately, I’m not surprised by this…it is Texas. You can’t argue that this “religious exemption” is anything but discrimination…there are other religious clubs on campus, and students can’t opt-out of funding them.

  • quikboy “it is Texas” does not mean anything. You are aware that Houston has a lesbian mayor? Does that make Texas a gay-friendly haven?Why don’t you focus on the specific university mentioned instead of labeling states as being one thing or another. Also, how are you sure the “other religious clubs” are funded directly by the student body? I think there’s quite an issue with that. I’d like to be enlightened because I’m pretty surprised if that’s true.

    I hope you don’t think I’m being rude, but attacking people about their state is pretty rude in itself.

  • Cam

    As an American I have an issue with funds from students at public schools going into funding multiple religious clubs.

  • 2eo

    Yet they allow funding for religious organisations despite religion being the principle cause for ALL war and ALL terrorism in the world.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Texas A&M is a public university. Students can now sue the Senators for violating their federal right to Equal Protection under Law. The U.S. Supreme Court has already established that animus – even under the guise of religion – cannot be grounds for singling out a class of people for unequal treatment. For example, working on the Sabbath is punishable by death according to the bible – no exceptions – yet students are not permitted to not fund the athletics programs which routinely pay their coaching staff to work on the Sabbath. The transparency of the bigotry and animus in this case is irrefutable.

  • RichieW

    I hope then that students have the right to allocate their activity funding anyway they want. Stop helping fund athletics, any religious groups etc. If they are the only ones being denied I hope the ACLU sues the hell out of them. Same goes for the bigots in the Texas congress who would deny funding to any school with a LGBT organization. If you cannot sue the congress then sue any school that drops LGBT organizations. Hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook.

  • RichieW

    @quikboy: Sorry but I live in Texas and our governor is the biggest piece of crap you can imagine. He is a total bigot who will do anything to hurt minorities, gays and wants to make sure women know their place. While Houston does have a gay mayor most of the rest of the state is very homophobic. I hope the supreme court knocks down all of DOMA. Then the states that do not allow gay marriages still might have to honor marriages from another state. They only have permission to not recogonize gay marriages because of DOMA. I can see lots of lawsuits which I hope states like Texas get fined big time.

  • miagoodguy

    blah blah blah

  • Charli Girl

    I live here too buddy n like you I’d like to start with that wrinkled face Perry as our first lawsuit!!!!!
    He’s just a puppet and just slid in office behind bushy boy! Just remember come Election Day!!!
    The whole bunch of tx bigots are on my last homosexual nerve!!!!

  • Daniel-Reader

    Since it was also framed into a religious issue, the LGBTA students can also sue for having their First Amendment rights violated by a public institution – being illegally targeted for religious reasons. Just because Americans might be LGBTA does not mean they surrender any of their own First Amendment rights not to be religious targets of government institutions. The U.S. Army and Marines went to war against the Taliban to stop government using religion as an excuse to violate other people’s human rights. Government should not be using religion at home to target and harm its own citizens.

  • Red Meat

    This will not end well for the school.

  • Dinodogstar

    Wow, that story gave me a flashback…but this was friggin’ 1990/1991 for God’s sake, and in the middle of very conservative Kansas…So at Kansas Statue University, ( i know you thinkin’, oh that’s a charming place,’land of Dorothy, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Isle, but no) in pretty-much central Kansas, the gay and lesbian student group had to endure personal and larger cultural questioning before the student senate (inquisition/tribunal), where after a grueling inquisition, we had to commit to taking on the role of the AIDS information outlet, and also keep a drawer full of pennies, to provide any student with the desire to recoup his or her fraction of our support by being able to retrieve a penny from our group headqquaters…! (really it was just a shared desk..and we got an allocation of about $200/ year). In that desperate attempt to quell any brewing anger, resentment and potential abuse, we implemented the typical survival tool of the lgbt community, *humor*, and took the acronym ‘ B.A.G.A.L.S. ” (bi & gay & lesbian society of KSU). Yep, we wer the laughing stock, th epunch;line of every joke, and we had to move our meetings off campus because of harrassment, and mildly-threatening graffiti..I once got a threatening phone call (“i’ve got a knife and i know how to use it.” )Now in the middle of cowboy Kansas, a rainbow flag flies in a campus window in the office space of th egay and lesbian student center, and non-disrimination poliices exist on campus regarding lgbt students and faculty…So Kansas presents itself as more progressive and concerned about issues of diversity and tolerance than a big old famous celebrated institution of learning like A&M, wow…”I was taught the way of progress is never swift or easy”- Marie Curie

  • Ogre Magi

    Reason #111111 to hate christians

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