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Texas to Consider "Traditional Values Centers" at State Universities

This article is cross-posted from How to Have Sex in TexasThis is one of two articles on this issue.  The second, by Andrea Grimes, can be found here.

The Texas House late last night (Friday April 1, 2011) passed one of the more hilariously leotarded amendments in this year's budget session. The amendment belongs to Representative Wayne Christian (R-Center) (at left) and would require a university that has a "gender and sexuality center" to equally fund a center that teaches, ahem, "traditional values." The bill passed 110-24.

Presumably Mr. Christian isn't aware of "heteronormativity" and would surely be comforted to know that, in a heteronormative system, every center, course, and department at every university teaches and privileges "traditional values"--thus creating the need for a locus of support for students, faculty and staff for whom "traditional values" are exclusionary and full of hate.

The full text of the amendment is available here. But the meat is below:

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, gender questioning, or other gender identity issues.

Perhaps the center could teach such vital skills as coming back strong from a scandal in which you claimed that you neither had sex nor smoked crystal meth with a male escort; finding the right "luggage lifter" to accompany you on a church trip to Europe; keeping women in their place by pretending that abortion is anti-feminist; and protecting traditional marriage from the gays. Considering the terrible success rate of straight people at living out their "traditional values," such a center could surely do some good. But somehow I doubt Christian envisions a center that would tangibly help straight people build strong marriages and avoid divorce as much as it would disparage feminism, equal rights for non-straights, and be mean to trans people.

We can hope this amendment doesn't make it through the reconciliation process but it's still a dick move to pass it in the first place.


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