Friday, May 20, 2011

ALERT: LGBT Resource Centers to be Banned from Texas Universities

I received a call at 3 am this morning that Wayne Christian (R-Center) intends to offer two amendments designed to eliminate LGBT resource centers from Texas’ state universities. Christian intends to offer the amendments to Senate Bill 1811, a large fiscal matters bill that has been stalled in the House for the last week.

The first amendment is identical to the language of Christian's infamous "family and traditional values center" amendment to the State budget, requiring universities that appropriate state funds for their LGBT resource centers to equally fund centers for “family and traditional values.” The American Independent pointed out that that the resource centers at both UT Austin and Texas A&M are funded by student fees, not state funds, and would be unaffected by the amendment.

Chrisitan’s second amendment would prohibit any state funds from being spent on campus LGBT resource centers and would also prohibit universities from housing the centers in state owned buildings, effectively banning them from campus.

SB 1811 contains additional budgetary provisions not included in the HB 1, the state budget. It's one of the last major bills to come through the House, making it a prime target for amendment for members whose bills have already died. Known as a "Christmas Tree" because everyone tries to hang their dead legislation on it, such bills take hours of debate, delaying other work. The House may delay consideration of SB 1811 until next week to avoid such delay. The bill must pass the House by midnight next Tuesday, May 24.

Call your state representative immediately and tell them to oppose the Christian amendments. You can find your state rep here.

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