SG passes bill continuing funding to Gender and Sexuality Center


Jonathan Garza

Finance junior John Roberts was the only representative to vote against the bill supporting the continuation of funding the Gender and Sexuality Center.

Amanda Voeller

A bill to ensure the continuation of funding for the Gender and Sexuality Center passed in Student Government on Tuesday.

The bill was filed in response to events at Texas A&M University, where its Student Senate filed a bill to allow students to opt out of funding the University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center for religious reasons. 

The purpose of the bill was to show that the student body supports the Gender and Sexuality Center and its educational value, Queer Students Alliance director Kent Kasischke said.

All members voted in support of the bill, with the exception of John David Roberts, a finance junior and McCombs representative.

“Today I represent the constituency that isn’t okay with the minority being forced to pay for something that they might have a moral problem with,” Roberts said.

Roberts said he is a supporter of the gay community and was a sponsor for another bill that supports Ally Day. The difference is that the Ally Day bill is about support while the Gender and Sexuality Center bill is about money, Roberts said.

“Just because we are a Texas school does not mean we are going to do the same actions [Texas A&M and the Texas Legislature] have,” said Janet Yang, an author of the Gender and Sexuality Center funding bill.

Yang said the bill also addressed the possibility of people around the nation categorizing UT into the beliefs Texas A&M and the Texas Legislature have set forth recently. The bill will not make any changes, but was an expression of Student Government’s stance on funding the Gender and Sexuality Center, according to Yang.

“It’s the visibility of it all,” Yang said. “Just to make sure that the stance of UT is being seen, we want to put something in writing explaining our viewpoint.”