Texas Budget Amendment: Colleges With LGBT Programs Must Create Traditional Family Programs

Last week the Texas state House passed a budget amendment by an overwhelming 110 to 24 vote stipulating that colleges in receipt of state funds must implement “family and traditional values” programs as a supposed counterbalance to LGBT-affirming diversity programs.

The amendment, sponsored by Representative Wayne Christian (R-Nacogdoches), says:

Amend C.S.H.B. No. 1 in Article of the bill, in the Special Provisions Relating Only to State Agencies of Higher Education, by adding the following appropriately numbered section: Sec. Funding of Student Centers for Family and Traditional Values. It is the intent of the Legislature that an institution of higher education shall use an amount of appropriated funds to support a family and traditional values center for students of the institution that is not less than any amount of appropriated funds used by the institution to support a gender and sexuality center or other center for students focused on gay, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, transsexual, transgender, gender questioning, or other gender identity issues.

The House passed the budget by a 98 to 49 vote over the weekend with the amendment attached.

This change, being peddled as promoting true equality, would of course make Texas universities have to factor in double the costs if they are to adopt an LGBT-affirming program because they will now have to use the same amount of funds to create a “traditional” values program.

To say this completely (and willfully) misses the point of LGBT-affirming groups would seem to be an understatement. LGBTs and questioning youth require these services precisely because they are in a heteronormative environment where they are a minority and need a support structure that is both inclusive and tailored to their life-experiences and particular concerns.

Besides the broad overreach of the Texas Legislature dictating in this context how higher education institutions are able to spend their funds, the amendment perpetuates the myth that LGBTs are diametrically opposed to so-called family values and hints that they may even be detrimental to that societal institution. Imagine the message this is sending to LGBT youth.

In related news, a budget amendment that would have required school districts to report incidents of anti-LGBT harassment and discrimination failed by a vote of 97-49 in the Republican-controlled chamber.

The House budget, which is designed to cut $23 billion from current state and federal spending over the next two years, will also slash funding for public schools, college financial aid and Medicaid programs.

The House also declined to grant the Texas HIV Medication Program, a vital resource for approximately 14,000 low-income HIV/AIDS sufferers, the extra funds it needs to meet increased demand. The Senate, which is yet to pass its budget, is expected to provide at least a proportion of those funds.

The House budget must next be reconciled with the Senate version where it is hoped many of the more zealous cuts will be softened.


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildv.

60 comments

Margo A.
Margo A7 years ago

Roy V.

It matters not what state or even, country one resides. Christians.. true Christians aren't the ones who will perish. Anyone and everyone who has rejected God's Gift of Grace by faith in Jesus Christ will perish. Thats Biblical truth! Sadly, many, many more have rejected.. than have accepted. Hell has so many souls going there on a daily bases that it enlarged itself in order to accommodate all who enter.

SEND
Norma V.
Norma Villarreal7 years ago

Unfortunately, 'good ole boys' rule in Texas.

SEND
Glen P.
Glen P7 years ago

Texas continues to embarrass itself and our nation.

How unfathomably ignorant of them to think that 'family' only applies to their narrow bigoted definition, which only denigrates what family is all about, for the sake of their small-minded religious criteria.

SEND
Maarja L.
Maarja L7 years ago

Are traditional families really such a persecuted minority that they have to have their own support groups? Especially in Texas, which seems to be a rather religious right-wing place?

SEND
Roy V.
Roy Vanderleelie7 years ago

Christianity is losing ground to non believers and other religions. Christianity in Texas is like the Alamo, it is their last stand. So go forward Texas Christians, you will perish.

SEND
Debi C.
Dee C7 years ago

What the hell is wrong with the lawmakers of Texas?

SEND
Jacobo V.
jacobo Van7 years ago

As an ex-texan I have seen some pluses in the thrust, but the throbbing unnatural bent that is imposed on the citizens can yield negative results in unforeseen areas afterwords. I would bet that our old friend Trent L. in or out of Washington or Texas is a very real example of this.

SEND
Dorothy K.
Dorothy K7 years ago

what the ?? this is crazy! Don't they already preach so called "traditional values" in Texas??

SEND
Marie W.
Marie W7 years ago

Please Texas secede and save us the embarrassment.

SEND
kenny s.
Kenny Stidham7 years ago

To hell with Texas.

SEND