Christian ‘Family’ Group Complains About LGBT Minor Offered at Louisiana University

Last week, I mentioned that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was the first school in the state to offer an LGBT minor — and a Catholic Bishop was complaining about it.

Turns out that’s only the beginning of the story.

You also have the Louisiana Family Forum — you know they’re Christian because only Christians are allowed to have families — freaking out for all the wrong reasons, as Walter Pierce explains:

Louisiana Family Forum, of course, got its chastity belt all bunched up by the news, frothing and flailing its vestments in an urgently misleading e-alert to its members: “UL Lafayette yesterday became the first university in Louisiana to offer a ‘minor’ in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) studies. Proponents of the program say ‘the goal of the new degree is to facilitate education and acceptance of the LGBT community.’”

One cannot receive a degree in a minor area of study. A minor is at most meant to enhance the major for which one receives a degree. Yet LFF repeatedly refers to LGBT studies as a degree program, insinuating, as have others, that university dollars are being put toward pushing the “gay agenda.” That’s not the case. Students can choose from scores of classes that are already offered at the university to satisfy the requirement of the minor — leftist offerings like American and British literature, history of religion, interpersonal communications and even dance. The gays are fabulous dancers.

A Congressperson also called on the school’s President to cancel the program:

U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, South Louisiana’s show pony of virtue, sent a letter to UL President Joe Savoie urging him to put the kibosh on the program: “As our nation continues to struggle with high unemployment, higher education’s primary mission should be ensuring current and future students have the tools necessary to compete in the 21st century economy,” Landry writes.

Um…. yeah. That’s why this minor would help people who want to be counselors, social workers, health care providers, and others.

Even alumni are threatening to withhold donations:

Most troubling of all is the blow back from deep-pocketed alumni who are threatening to stop donating to the university. In an email to dozens of friends and colleagues obtained by The Ind, a prominent Lafayette businessman who is a major university benefactor makes his views painfully clear after receiving a routine solicitation letter from the alumni association: “I can’t believe that our university that is nestled into such a conservative and Christian community, is going to take the lead amongst colleges and be in the forefront of pushing this agenda. UL is better than this and should be in the forefront of much bigger and better things. I am embarrassed to be a UL graduate today and have elected to throw this letter in the trash.”

ULL President Savoie tried explaining on his blog that offering a minor is hardly advancing any sort of agenda:

Regardless of our personal feelings, as an academic institution, the university is obligated and committed to, within the law, the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, the protection of individual and group rights, and the preservation of religious and academic freedoms.

Our desired posture is to be neither advocate nor adversary on controversial social issues of the day. Rather, our responsibility is to provide in an impartial manner an opportunity for investigation, analysis and understanding.

How can you help? Right now, the best thing to do might be to let President Savoie know that he has your support. Send him an email and drown out the ones coming in from the bigots. Let him know that you not only support LGBT issues, but also academic freedom and intellectual honesty.

(Thanks to Charlotte for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Dale Snyder

    “As our nation continues to struggle with high unemployment,
    higher education’s primary mission should be ensuring current and future
    students have the tools necessary to compete in the 21st century
    economy…” 

    Hmm. Does that mean we can eliminate religious studies?

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.tingley Richard Tingley

      Have you seen the salaries of some of these mega-church pastors? Religion is an incredibly profitable business to be in. lol

    • Sfugly

      You agnostics are funny!

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    Can we please, as a nation, just collectively roll our eyes at this already?

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

    Offering an LGBT minor just seems like such a modest step to take, especially if they’re just taking existing courses and offering minor credit for them.  At my alma mater, we actually had faculty and courses dedicated to it.

    The gays are fabulous dancers.

    Um.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47910251 Scott Broussard

      Louisiana schools are facing massive budget cuts right now at roughly $10m/yr for 4y now – we’ve already had to eliminate the philosophy major (among others). I’m glad you had the money to afford an entire LGBT dept., because we sure don’t.

      • Stev84

        It’s hardly an entire department. It’s one professor teaching two new courses at most. And that’s in addition to her other sociology stuff. The electives are all existing courses.

      • HomerThompson

        Can’t helping being disingenuous, can you? Any lie for God will do.

      • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

        The University of California suffers from budget cuts too these days, though I do not know how they compare to Louisiana’s.  We did not have a full LGBT department either.  I was just commenting that it seems like such a minor thing for LFF to get all worked up about.

  • Stev84

    The Civil War was a horrible idea. Why of why didn’t they just let the South secede?

    • http://tch3.com C High

      Thank you for that enlightening comment.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    Let them whine. They’re just turning off more people to their ideas, and even their “Christianity”. This is a positive thing.

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    Nothing interferes with the rights of Political Christians quite like others enjoying theirs.

    • ophu

      Bigotry is its own bane.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Maybe this is the first step to them ceasing being a Christian community, and coming into reality with the rest of us. 

  • http://twitter.com/NontheistCentra Nontheist Central

    I sent an email to the president.  I hope this negative attention won’t make him have a change of heart.  I would like to see courses like these offered at all colleges and universities.  So sad that people react so negatively to something as simple as this.  

    Just goes to show, I think, that the “fundies” are in their death throes and seem to act more and more like spoiled children when these situations occur…kinda like OMM, whom I shall henceforth refer to as 50KM since they only have 50 thousand members. (and some of you know that this is a very generous head-count)  Their embarrassingly minimal support amid their increasingly loud mouths is evidence of their child-like behavior.  People like them make me embarrassed to be human sometimes.  smh

  • Niftyatheist

    Email sent! Thank you for drawing attention to this and linking the email address. 

  • Jeff Xenobuilder

    Since I’ve lived in Louisiana all my life, and y’all should know that the Louisiana Family Forum is the same group that pushed the “LA Science Education Act” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Science_Education_Act) through the LA legislature, and they also help push through the school voucher law.  The school voucher law now gives public money to private religious  school which teach that Bible creationism is real, and that genuine science is a global conspiracy against the bible.  All you have to know is, if the Louisiana Family  Forum is against anything, educated and thinking people will be on the opposite side of the issue.  As a group they are powerful stupid, and stupidly powerful amongst Louisiana Politicians.

    Watch a reenactment of our Gov., Bobby Jindal, preform an Exorcism.  http://vimeo.com/45871384

    Local news story about reenactment (Gov. not happy) http://www.abc26.com/news/newswithatwist/wgno-flim-mockingly-depicts-governor-bobby-jindal-in-ivy-league-exorcist-20120722,0,6448069.story

    Enjoy.

    • cg

      Well put, Jeff!

      Thank you Hemant for posting this and thanks to everyone who has shown their support!

  • Trickster Goddess

    “leftist offerings like American and British literature, history of religion, interpersonal communications”

    We always knew they considered literacy to be an evil socialist plot, but now even history of religion is considered to be leftist?

    • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

      Well, yeah, explaining how the various ramblings of goatherders were collected piecemeal over hundreds of years kind of goes against the narrative.

  • http://oddboyout.blogspot.com/ oddboyout

    Taking my Queer Studies minor is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

  • coreypaul

    If this is a public funded school, they should just tell the wackos to mind their own business and remind them how their schools are also partly funded by the rest if us and teach about how evil and vile gays are any time they want, even making it a “major” with a “minor” in “the evil gay agenda”

  • ImRike

     “As our nation continues to struggle with high unemployment,
    higher education’s primary mission should be ensuring current and future
    students have the tools necessary to compete in the 21st century
    economy,” Landry writes.
    Oh, and that is why they try to push creationism in schools and no sex education. Yeah, those are the tools necessary to compete in the 21st century economy!


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