Earlier this week, what looked like a cruel April Fools’ Day joke turned out to be a real life attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. On April 1, Texas Representative Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) filed an amendment with the Texas legislature that would prohibit institutions of higher education, which receive state tax dollars, from funding, housing, supporting, or promoting “Gender and Sexuality Centers” on their campuses.
The amendment, now being referred to as Zedler-1, was attached to the Texas House General Appropriations Bill (HB1) introduced by Texas Representative Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie), as well as the Senate Appropriation Bill (SB 1) introduced by Texas Senator Tommy Williams (R-Woodlands). The amendment proposes the incorrect assumption that "Gender and Sexuality Centers" promote and encourage students to participate in “high risk behavior for AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B, or any sexually transmitted disease.”
LGBT and women’s resource centers exist to provide students with safe, welcoming, and educational environments. In the case of an LGBT resource center, its sole purpose is to provide students who are coming out, thinking of coming out, or who have been out, a place to feel safe and interact with students like themselves.