Texas Rep. Says Campus Support For LGBT Students Must Be ‘Balanced’ By ‘A Traditional Values Family Center’

Texas House Representative Wayne Christian has no problem with the teaching of “alternative sexual practices,” but thinks equal time ought to be dedicated to heterosexual “traditional values.” “If they’re going to pay for one, they need to balance it with the other,” Christian said.

He added an amendment (PDF) to the budget on Friday requiring any universities who support LGBT students to offer equal time to heterosexual students:

This amendment simply says of our universities that if they spend money to create a center for—a gender and sexual[ity] center—that they must have at least 50%—or match the dollars—in a traditional family values center. It does not require—it just says if they’re going to pay for one, they have to balance it to the other.

The amendment passed 110-24. Rep. Christian did not elaborate on what exactly such centers would offer. A staffer at his office said on the phone that heterosexual students would be able to go to the new centers to have their questions answered, as “there is no place else for them to go.”

What Rep. Christian does not seem to understand or appreciate is why LGBT centers currently exist on campuses. The LGBT Campus Climate study released last September documents the high rates of harassment experienced by LGBT college students, faculty, and staff, and the significant impact this chilly climate has on their safety, academic performance, and retention.

Currently, programs that address LGBT issues on campuses are supported by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, which provides standards that “respond to real-time student needs and the requirements of sound pedagogy” consistent with institutional missions. No such standards (or precedents) currently exist for “heterosexual programs” or “traditional value centers,” nor do campuses offer “White Centers” to balance “Multicultural Centers” nor “Men’s Centers” to balance “Women’s Centers.”