What does Texas A&M have in Common with Martin Ssempa?

Martin Ssempa is best known for his support of anti-gay legislation in Uganda that would make homosexuality a capital offense. His antics went viral in 2010 in this youtube video (for mature audiences only). The text of the bill contains a controversial clause that states, “A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.” The bill also forces those who are suspected of engaging in homosexuality to undergo an HIV test.

Texas A&M University is ranked #17 on Princeton Review’s list of “LGBT Unfriendly Campuses”. On Wednesday, the Texas A&M Student Senate passed a measure (in response to proposed Texas state legislation) that will divert half of the funding from the campus LGBT awareness organization to programming “for family and traditional values education.” The assumption here is that “family and traditional values” education refers to programs that advocate for heterosexual relationships.

The last time I checked, heterosexuals did not face any sort of stigma for being heterosexual. What would programs for “family and traditional values education” look like? The moral hazard here is that these funds will be diverted to extremist and religious focused programming that contradicts the Constitutional separation of church and state. Not to mention, the Bill is dubiously titled “Sexual Education Equality in Funding Bill”, but will most likely lead to less sexual education equality. The bottom line: LGBT students at Texas A&M face discrimination, therefore should be giving funding to provide education and programming to Texas A&M students that will reduce stigmas. Heterosexual students do not face discrimination, therefore do not need special funding based on their sexual orientation.

The day after Aggie Muster, I can’t help but reflect on the sincerity of the speeches about the “Aggie family” and how we are always there for one another throughout our lives, not just while we are students. How can we be an Aggie family while we systematically work to exclude subsections of the student body from the Aggie community?

Members of the Texas A&M Student Senate might not be advocating to make homosexuality a crime on campus punishable by expulsion (the equivalent of educational execution), but they certainly are acting as ignorant and discriminatory as Mr. Ssempa.

H/T Dallas Voice

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