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