Discrimination | Education | News | Texas

A&M Student Body President Vetoes Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Campus LGBT Center


Texas A&M student body president John Claybrook has vetoed a measure we reported on yesterday that would allow students to opt out of funding the campus GLBT Resource Center if they have religious objections.

The Eagle reports:

News this week that some student senators had targeted the center thrust the traditionally conservative university into the national spotlight, and Claybrook said it was time to "stop the bleeding."

“The damage must stop today,” Claybrook wrote in a letter announcing the veto. “Texas A&M students represent our core value of respect exceptionally and I'm very proud of the family at this university. Now, more than ever, is the time to show great resolve and come together, treating each other like the family that we are.”

Claybrook's veto means that the legislation passed 35-28 on Wednesday will not represent the official opinion of the student body at Texas A&M.

The student senate may attempt to override the veto on April 17 when it meets again, though it's unclear if it plans to do so.

Read Claybrook's full press release here.

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  1. Huzzah. If I were a student at A&M and this passed I would then raise a stick against any fees going to other relgious or other groups that I might have "moral" obligations to. The issue here is that if that was to pass then it would open the door for all kinds of disputes. Like say you were an Aryan Nation devotee and didnt want your fees going to any groups realted to black and brown people.

    Generally no one in the state that isnt a right winger would ever consider A&M. They have a few programs that forces some to tough it out but saying you are an Aggie is more or less shorthand for Im a right wing republican bible thumper.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 5, 2013 2:54:51 PM

  2. full o full of bigots

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 5, 2013 2:56:39 PM

  3. It'd be nice if he received some thank you notes. sbp@tamu.edu . I'm sure he's going to receive a lot of flack from those who wanted the bill passed. Let him know we appreciate him doing the right thing.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 5, 2013 2:59:28 PM

  4. It'd be nice if he received some thank you notes. sbp@tamu.edu . I'm sure he's going to receive a lot of flack from those who wanted the bill passed. Let him know we appreciate him doing the right thing.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 5, 2013 2:59:40 PM

  5. Good on Mr. Claybrook on this veto, but LGBT students at A&M now pretty much know what the student body thinks of them. Very hostile situation, and very sad.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 5, 2013 3:00:57 PM

  6. John Claybrook is also on Twitter (@johnclaybrook / @tamu_sbp). Send him some thanks.

    Posted by: Dignan | Apr 5, 2013 3:14:21 PM

  7. It is shocking that they have that many religious nuts in the senate. Is it because it is in Texas?

    Posted by: simon | Apr 5, 2013 3:18:42 PM

  8. "...but LGBT students at A&M now pretty much know what the student body thinks of them."

    Perspective: The vote was 33-30 (not 35-28, as previously reported), which is actually a tiny bit encouraging, and the student body president vetoes the resolution. And trust me, any student who goes to TAMU already knows the socio-political climate there.

    The sponsors of this "bill" were little schoolboys playing student council, burnishing their maroon and white credentials in case they want a future in politics. The measure had no chance of being implemented by the real decision-makers, and even if it had, no chance of survival in the face of a legal challenge.

    I think it's important to publicize this, but not to overblow it. Texas A&M still is what it always was, and that's why I would not go there again, or send my children, or advise any of my peers to consider it as a school for THEIR children. I get asked from time to time about whether I'd recommend it as a school, and I have never hesitated to say no. It's just a place where hicks and bigots go for their certificate of completion.

    Posted by: Reveille | Apr 5, 2013 3:22:33 PM

  9. @Simon: It has a military tradition, and a Corps of Cadets, so it has always bent toward the reactionary. It's the big state school for small-town kids, and the ultra-conservatives from the cities. That's the pool TAMU draws from by and large, and so it's not that surprising that you get those kinds of religious crackpots bubbling up into student government.

    Posted by: Reveille | Apr 5, 2013 3:29:50 PM

  10. I live a few miles from the university and went to A&M many years ago and to this day I do not consider myself an Aggie. It's embarrassing and if I had to do it all over again I would not go back to A&M.

    Posted by: Ben Nevis | Apr 5, 2013 3:34:18 PM

  11. Is it a men-only school?

    It appears the bill was introduced only by mean... some names on the list could go both-ways. :)

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Apr 5, 2013 3:45:28 PM

  12. Good to see a group so opposed to stereotyping calling all Aggies a bunch of bible thumping bigots. Are there some of those there? Certainly. It's a school of 50,000 students located in Texas. There are a lot of gay Aggies, atheist Aggies, and liberal Aggies. I graduated from there 10 years ago. I had a blast, made a ton of wonderful friends, and received an education that has served me well since then.

    Yeah, A&M is probably more conservative than most big state schools, but it's not like it's Bob Jones, Oral Roberts, or hell, even Baylor or any other church-affiliated school. Keep in mind the vote on this was split fairly down the middle, and was vetoed by the guy the whole student body voted for.

    Posted by: TH | Apr 5, 2013 3:53:14 PM

  13. Profile in courage.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 5, 2013 4:15:53 PM

  14. Maybe he'll be the next Anne Richards. Texas could use some good press about now, especially after having George Bush and Prick Perry for Governors.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | Apr 5, 2013 4:36:52 PM

  15. I guess there is at least a small glimmer of hope. I wonder if they will try to override the veto...

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 5, 2013 5:18:53 PM

  16. Texas A&M is definitely known as a conservative school and I'm sure LGBT students at A&M knew that going in. The fact of the matter is, a bill like this actually existing in the first place, let alone passing, is absolutely evil. But I hope with Mr. Claybrook's veto, that it sends a clear message to those who are less accepting that their bigotry isn't what Texas A&M will stand for.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 5, 2013 5:52:19 PM

  17. @Francis#1:

    Thanks. I would read that other guy's comments and say, "hey, this aint Francis!"

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 5, 2013 5:56:25 PM

  18. I know, Derrick. Someone has sullied my (our) name by posting stupidity :( But now hopefully everyone knows the crazy Francis isn't me!

    I read on Dallas Voice that there have been death threats now against a couple LGBT students at A&M. The good thing is an amendment that would have banned LGBT student groups on campus was tabled. Clearly things are very very hostile for LGBT youth/students in Texas schools but I admire their courage for fighting against the hate.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 5, 2013 7:46:20 PM

  19. To show how important it is to actually THINK before you respond to an issue like this, I was all ready to say that a student should not have to fund something he finds morally objectionable and that the gay community will lose support if it pushes too hard on mini-issues like this. Then I just realized that anyone could object to ANY club or group for a moral reason. Would Catholic students not fund a school service that advises students about pregnancy and contraception? Do Evangelical Christian students refuse to pay a portion of their student fee because it will support the Islamic students club? Here is a recipe for endless conflict.

    It is only natural for a university to have an LGBT Center. Students who don't want to have any connection to it need not go there. Although, ironicaly, they are the ones who most NEED to go there. It might start to cure their homophobia.

    .....Of course, the ultimate "LGBT Center" is Towleroad itself!

    Posted by: Mary | Apr 5, 2013 11:01:34 PM

  20. Mary,

    On the Letterman thread, in response to you, I typed "thanks Mary?"

    On this one, I should amend it to THANK YOU MARY!

    Thank you for actually engaging and interacting with us to LEARN about how our lives and loves are essentially no different than yours.

    I'm gratified to see how you've progressed and look forward to future dialog.

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Apr 5, 2013 11:27:34 PM


    Posted by: TONEZ | Apr 6, 2013 1:31:43 AM

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