Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.02.08
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Michigan Daily (Ann Arbor, MI) - Spectrum Center launches new coming out program
2. Indiana Daily Student (Indiana U, Bloomington, IN) – IU to host Midwest BLGT conference
3. The Daily Pennsylvanian (UPenn, Philadelphia, PA) – OPINION: Not a quick, superficial fix
4. MSNBC Local News (Sacramento, CA) – Former UC Davis Officer Sues Cops, University
5. Centre Daily Times (State College, PA) – Starr gets Proposition 8 heat
6. The Saginaw News (Saginaw, MI) – Gay marriage debated at Saginaw Valley State University
7. Diamondback Online (University of Maryland) - State debates same-sex benefits
8. The GW Hatchet (Washington, DC) – Students call for new transgender policy
9. The Chanticleer Online (Jacksonville State University, Alabama) – SAFE now JSU LGBT: Organization hopes to promote equality for gay students
10. The Daily Pennsylvanian (UPenn, Philadelphia, PA) – The end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?
11. The Daily Free Press (Boston University) - Students ask for 'don't ask' repeal
12. Fort Mill Times (Fort Mill, SC) – Lawmakers: Throw sex experts off college faculty
1. The Michigan Daily, February 2, 2009
Spectrum Center launches new coming out program
By Jasmine Zhu
The Spectrum Center, the University's LGBT affairs office, is offering a new program to assist students who are coming out.
Launched last week, the Guidance, Support and Perspective Program, known as GPS — is designed to provide students with information, guidance and assistance regarding issues dealing with sexual identity.
The GPS program seeks to differentiate itself from other Spectrum Center programs through schedule flexibility and the option to meet away from the Spectrum Center to provide anonymity. In the program, students who've already come out work with students who are planning to discuss their sexual orientations with family and friends.
The program's flexibility allows students and their mentors to meet any time during the school year, unlike other support programs that may meet on a weekly basis.
GPS also allows for increased confidentiality. Kevin Correa, the Spectrum Center's administrative and programming coordinator, said many students who are coming out want more discretion, which GPS provides through an unintimidating environment.
"Students who are closeted or who are uncomfortable with their sexual orientation or gender identity may find the prospect of entering the Spectrum Center or attending an LGBT student group meeting to be too risky or intimidating," Correa said. "Some may fear being seen by others and being identified as LGBT, some may not be ready to be around a group of LGBT people."
Correa said the new program is being launched as a response to previous insufficient support programs for students.
"We've found that existing coming out support resources were insufficient," he said. "We needed a new way to support students going through a difficult time."
After filling out a confidential online request form, students will be matched with a GPS student mentor by a GPS coordinator. The student and the GPS mentor will be paired based on shared identities and backgrounds.
Correa said the program is designed to benefit students who are coming out, and also the students who are providing support.
"It's also a great way for students who already have experience with coming out to give back to their community by helping others going through a situation they might have been through," he said.
Correa said the main goal of GPS is to provide a program for students who are coming out to feel more at ease with their sexual identities.
"We hope to give students a new tool to use as they are navigating their way out of their closet," Correa said. "Hopefully, the program will help students struggling with their identity to feel more comfortable with themselves."
2. Indiana Daily Student, February 3, 2009
940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
IU to host Midwest BLGT conference
By MaryJane Slaby
Packing up after three days at the University of Illinois for last year's Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference, IU students Solomon Hursey and Julia Napolitano used their bus ride home as a chance to start planning IU's turn to play host to the event.
"We were so busy we didn't really sleep. We had to cram too much into those three days," Hursey, now a junior, said.
Having the conference at IU has been in the works since before co-chairs Hursey and Napolitano, a sophomore, started volunteering at the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Student Support Services Office.
In 2007, Bloomington won the bid to host the 2009 conference. The 17th annual event will take place Feb. 13 through Feb. 15. This is the first time it will be held at IU. Hursey said that the conference is the biggest and oldest of its kind in the country.
Conference publicity chairwoman Bethany Lister said the conference has good timing because Bloomington has recently been ranked the country's No. 1 gay-friendly, small-town vacation destination by The Advocate's Web site. The Advocate is a U.S.-based national gay and lesbian news magazine.
The Midwest doesn't have the attention the East and West Coasts have in terms of GLBT issues, Lister said. She added that the conference is great for younger students who are afraid to come out.
On Jan. 30, online registration for the conference hit more than 1,000 participants. Napolitano said people are attending from all over the country and even overseas. She added that students from other universities are staying with IU students, and that with the approval of Residential Programs and Services, the conference is finding hosts for participants through a Facebook group.
Conference attendees can attend five sessions. Each session will have about 20 workshops to pick from and will take place in various campus buildings.
Hursey said the workshops were open to proposals and more than 100 were received. Professors, professionals and students submitted proposals. Most workshops are roundtable discussions covering a range of topics including politics, finance and relationships.
Several workshops focus on history for social movements to go with the conference's theme of "Living Out Loud: Examining the Past to Enhance Our Future."
"We can tweak past social movements and strategies to work for our current social, political and cultural climate," Hursey said.
Napolitano and Hursey said they hoped to reach out to different departments and bridge groups that may not always intersect with the GLBT community such as athletics, religious groups and the greek community.
"There is always going to be discrimination in the world, and the goal is to raise awareness," Napolitano said. "The point is to be respectful."
Napolitano added that many GLBT allies attend the workshops and several of the workshops also focus on ally training.
She said she hopes that when people leave the conference they will have learned different strategies to practice equality in their lives, had a worthwhile experience and learned what it means to identify or not identify with different groups.
"We're hoping that people from schools that aren't so with it in terms of GLBT acceptance learn tools and strategies," Hursey said.
The conference also features "The L Word" writer, director and producer Rose Troche; openly gay ESPN sports columnist LZ Granderson and Indiana State University professor Kand McQueen as keynote speakers and several
The conference is working with the community to include several GLBT events, art displays and theater performances.
"It's the most exciting thing I've been involved in," Napolitano said. "I can't imagine anything topping this."
3. The Daily Pennsylvanian, February 5, 2009
4015 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6198
OPINION: Not a quick, superficial fix
By Brandon Moyse
Is a nose job medically necessary? Sometimes. What about a sex change?
That has been the question raised recently by transgender individuals and their supporters. They contend that the University's lack of health care coverage for sexual-reassignment surgery violates Penn's non-discrimination policy.
I know I'm tackling an issue with which I have little personal experience. As a Canadian citizen, the concept of selecting a carrier and paying health-insurance premiums is completely foreign to me (what the heck is an HMO?). Moreover, I can't even begin to empathize with people diagnosed with gender-identity disorder, a mental condition where being transgender causes serious distress, which is something so far removed from me that it seems almost unbelievable.
That said, it is a recognized, albeit controversial, psychiatric disorder and one that requires treatment. Whether the University should cover that treatment is a different question, and one to which I firmly believe the answer is no. The benefits do not outweigh the costs.
According to Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center director Erin Cross, this whole outcry stems from an instance last year when an employee approached her, ready to have sexual-reassignment surgery, and wanted to know if the University covered it. Cross said it is the only time anybody has approached her ready to have the surgery.
Given that the worldwide prevalence of GID is around 1 in 10,000, and that Penn has 12,000 employees enrolled in its health-insurance plans (25,000 when dependents are counted), there are probably fewer than 10 people at Penn who would be eligible and willing to have the surgery. And as far as we do know, there's only one.
Like welfare and Social Security, health insurance is a cooperative enterprise into which enrollees pay premiums and receive money when needed. The healthy pay for the not-so-healthy. In the case of SRS, the cost - up to $50,000 for the surgery, never mind follow-up treatments - combined with the very low demand for the procedure means that adding coverage for it is economically inadvisable.
Without surgery, Cross argued, these individuals require intense psychiatric therapy because of their potentially suicidal tendencies. However, that therapy is already covered by the University's extensive coverage of treatment of mental-health disorders. The end result - treatment - is the same, so adding coverage and increasing costs are redundant. And there's no guarantee that SRS will be any more effective than counseling in improving one's mental health because surgery as complex as that can bring on a whole host of complications, both physical and mental.
There isn't much precedence behind insurance companies covering SRS. Mercer, one of Penn's consulting firms, pegged the number of employers that cover it at between 2 and 12 percent, depending on the survey. No other Ivy League universities cover it and only two universities in the whole country do - the University of Michigan and the University of California.
Part of the reason for the lack of coverage is the fact that SRS and GID are still relatively new. Geri Zima, the benefits manager of Penn's Division of Human Resources, likened SRS now to what gastric-bypass surgery was a few years ago - a new procedure that required some examination and defining as "medically necessary" before it was approved to be covered.
The University's plan is redesigned every year to meet employees' needs and to respond to trends from the previous year. Furthermore, there are a couple avenues that the LGBT Center or those in need of SRS can take to appeal Penn's benefits plan: There is both a benefits-appeal committee and a personnel-benefits committee that review complaints. Zima indicated that no formal appeal has been made regarding SRS.
Returning to the cost, the University covers, on average, 80 percent of the premium while employees pay the remaining 20 percent. If SRS were added, both the University and its employees would be accountable. Considering the current economic climate, when review of the plan rolls around in April, faculty and staff should not be asked to bear that extra cost. The University, already tightening its belt, has more pressing issues on which to spend its money.
Brandon Moyse is a College junior from Montreal. He is the former senior sports editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. What Aboot It, Eh? appears on Thursdays. His email address is email@example.com.
4. MSNBC Local News (Sacramento, CA), February 4, 2009
Former UC Davis Officer Sues Cops, University: Man Says He Faced Discrimination
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A former UC Davis police officer is suing the school's police department and the university.
Calvin Chang said when they found out he was gay, other officers verbally attacked him.
He claims his bosses discriminated against him because he's gay and Asian.
Chang said he even got a written death threat.
In his 33-page lawsuit, the 15-year police veteran said department leaders tried to push him out with several unwarranted investigations into his work. Then he claims they fired him for no reason. Chang said Tuesday he just wants his job back.
"It was my dream job. It was my dream career, in my dream home community," Chang said. "What I really want is to be reinstated as a police officer. I'm seeking a rescission of the previous agreement which was a sham. I want my job back."
Chang said if he doesn't get his job back he wants to be paid the salary he would have made this year as an officer.
A university spokesperson said the university has not been served with the suit and so therefore they cannot comment.
5. Centre Daily Times, February 4, 2009
3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801
Starr gets Proposition 8 heat
By Ed Mahon
UNIVERSITY PARK — During an hour and a half presentation, Ken Starr discussed the history behind a recent Supreme Court ruling on the Fourth Amendment, warned future lawyers about interrupting judges, and took a question on California's Proposition 8.
That last topic had led about 50 people to rally outside the university's Lewis Katz Building prior to Starr's talk Tuesday.
"I think it's hugely important for state constitutional law. I will leave the politics and the cultural side to those who are capable of talking about it intelligently," said Starr, who became famous in the 1990s for investigating then-President Bill Clinton during the Whitewater controversy. He was invited to speak by the university's Dickinson School of Law.
Starr, the dean of California's Pepperdine University, argued 25 cases before the Supreme Court when he was the U.S. solicitor general. He's now representing supporters of California's Proposition 8 — a measure voters approved in November that outlaws marriage between same-sex couples in the state.
Same-sex marriage supporters, including law and undergraduate students and members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, gathered outside the Lewis Katz Building about 90 minutes before Starr's speech was to begin.
They held signs such as "Conservatives support gay rights, too" and "Giving other people equal rights doesn't threaten my faith, my family or my friends." Organizers said they didn't have a problem with Starr being invited to campus, but wanted to use the opportunity to voice their own views on same-sex marriage and other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual issues.
"Ultimately, my dreams are the same as any other American's dreams," Terry Burke, a third-year law student who has been in a same-sex relationship for four years.
"I want to have a family. ... That's really what this whole debate is: How does society recognize homosexual relationships?" Burke said. "Do we discriminate ... and call them something different than relationships? Or do we embrace them?"
Jason Janoski, a second-year law student and president of the Federalist Society, which was a sponsor of the talk, said he was glad to see a large turnout for the rally because it brought more attention to Starr's appearance.
"The Federalist Society is about creative discourse, and we're certainly doing that here," Janoski said. He declined to comment on how much Starr was paid to speak on campus. Other sponsors were the Speaker's Trust, the Student Bar Association and Young America's Foundation
Burke, like several of those rallying for same-sex marriage rights, stayed for Starr's talk, which focused on a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in January that said evidence could be used against a defendent even if it was obtained via an arrest that was unlawful because of police negligence.
During the question and answer session, Starr talked about why he prefers 9-0 decisions.
"I love it when I see ... a unanimous opinion coming out of the Supreme Court," Starr said, adding that it's a way for judges to show solidarity and say "each of our names are on it, just like the Declaration of Independence. ... And that is part of the lore of the history of the American judiciary." He noted that the judiciary had some "sorry episodes," like its decisions regarding slavery.
He also gave practical advice to the future lawyers in the audience.
"Please don't interrupt the judge," Starr said, noting that he understands, because attorneys generally have a limited time to make their case during appeals. "It can be very disquieting as the applicant when you have such limited time. ... It's very frustrating, and it's very easy to step over and speak over a judge."
Ed Mahon can be reached at 231-4619.
6. The Saginaw News, February 4, 2009
203 S. Washington Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48607
Gay marriage debated at Saginaw Valley State University
By Justin Engel
A hot topic that divides many brought two people together Tuesday.
John Corvino and Glenn T. Stanton debated gay marriage in front of about 150 Saginaw Valley State University students and faculty.
Corvino is an associate professor of philosophy at Wayne State University in Detroit. Stanton is director of research for the Global Family Formation and senior analyst for marriage and sexuality at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two have visited American campuses for five years.
"While Glenn and I disagree, we have a commitment to reasonable public dialogue," Corvino said.
Corvino said he disagrees with the argument that gay marriage diminishes other marriages.
"It doesn't take anything away from you," he said. "It's not like we have a limited number of marriage licenses, and once they're gone, there are no more left for straight people."
Stanton said history supports heterosexual marriages.
"All societies have brought together (people in marriage) to create the babies," Stanton said. "Go anywhere in the world at any point in history."
He called a person's gender "deeply, deeply consequential."
"Fatherhood is more than sperm donation," Stanton said. "(Children) need the mom and the dad together. If you want to be radical and out of bounds, don't bring children into it."
7. Diamondback Online (University of Maryland), February 6, 2009
3150 South Campus Dining Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
State debates same-sex benefits
By Marissa Lang
Domestic partners of gay and lesbian university employees would be entitled to health benefits under a proposal announced earlier this week by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).
If the plan, which is part of the governor's budget proposal, is approved by the General Assembly, Maryland would join Washington and 15 other states in offering health insurance benefits to domestic partners. By extension, university employees would be eligible for the benefits guaranteed by the policy.
University administrators emphasized that extending health benefits to same-sex domestic partners would make the state and the university more competitive in attracting top-notch employees. Of the 62 schools that are in the Association of American Universities, an organization of the nation's leading research universities, this university was one of only 10 that didn't offer same-sex domestic partner benefits.
"In order to build a world class university, we need to be able to attract world-class talent," Provost Nariman Farvardin said.
Luke Jensen, director of the office of LBGT Equity, said prospective professors have "frequently" turned down job offers at this university because their domestic partners would not receive coverage under the university's health plan.
"We're at a competitive disadvantage without [this policy]," Jensen said. "If we can't have our first choices, how can we better our students' education."
Gay rights activists added that states and companies that provide health benefits for same-sex domestic partners have a competitive edge over those who do not. About 60 percent of Fortune 1000 companies offer health benefits for domestic partners, said Kate Runyon, executive director of Equality Maryland, the state's largest gay advocacy group.
"Take Michigan, for example," Runyon said. "After the state barred domestic partner benefits, people chose to leave. So, really, passing this kind of legislation only stands to benefit the economy in the long-run."
As many as 300 state employees in a work force of about 70,000 are expected to sign up for the extended health benefits, at a predicted cost of $1 million to $3 million, depending on how many employees enroll, according to a press release from Equality Maryland.
Despite the state's projected $2 billion deficit next year and tight budgets threatening program cuts and layoffs both at the state and university level, state and university officials laud the governor's decision to introduce the legislation for its symbolic value.
"The economic impact, right now, is unknown," Farvardin said. "But this is absolutely the right thing to do regardless."
Farvardin, who oversees faculty recruitment, added that he and university President Dan Mote have been unconditional supporters of the policy, regardless of whether they receive state support to fund it. He noted that even if the legislation passes, the state may not provide extra funds to the university to make up for the extra health benefits the university would have to provide.
"We don't know right now if we'll get any state support," he said. "It's possible [the state] will instate this and not provide any extra support. But I don't think the costs to the university will be enormous either way."
Equality Maryland projects that no more than 1 percent of state and university employees will likely sign up for domestic partner benefits, Runyon said.
"The impact will be huge and the cost will be small," Jensen added.
But Jensen added there is no way to accurately calculate the number of LBGT employees at the university who would benefit from the legislation.
"Every time there is an attempt to assess the number of LBGT employees [at this university], the best we can do is say, 'We know there are at least this many,'" Jensen said. "But regardless, it will make a big difference to those who do work here. It sends a message. It says that yes, you're valued and being treated equally."
State legislators are confident the measure will pass.
"It's almost certain to happen," said Scott Tsikerdanos, a legislative aide for state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno (D-Montgomery), who was the first openly gay senator elected in the state. "It's just one of those issues that's about fairness and equality. A lot of state and university employees are single-handedly handicapped by their partners not being eligible for benefits. It's kind of a no-brainer."
8. The GW Hatchet, February 5, 2009
2140 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
Students call for new transgender policy
By Alli Hoff and Emily Cahn
The Student Association joined an LGBTQ student organization last week in demanding explicit protection for transgender students in the University Code of Conduct.
Members of the Allied in Pride student organization have been fighting to alter the University's anti-discrimination policy to include transgender students - and won a major victory on Jan. 27 when the SA voted unanimously to support the change.
The vote came after junior Devin Alston-Smith testified during an SA public comment session that he was harassed by the sisters of Zeta Phi Beta sorority, of which he was a member, and later forced to withdraw from the multicultural sorority for dressing and identifying himself as male - though he was born female.
"All of a sudden, it was just a huge problem - the way I dress, how I identified," Alston-Smith later said in an interview.
Zeta Phi Beta President Vanessa White challenged Alston-Smith's assertion, saying that he was suspended from active participation in the chapter because he failed to provide their graduate chapter with his transcript, adding that she was unaware harassment had been an issue.
"[Alston-Smith] chose not to participate by not turning in that transcript," White said. "Our chapter had nothing to do with her suspension. She solidified her decision not to participate by destroying gifts and paraphernalia that we had given to her when she joined and leaving them on my doorstep. She made it clear she wanted nothing to do with us."
Alston-Smith said that when he brought his issue to the University Police Department, he was unable to pursue it past a harassment report due to wording in the University Code of Conduct.
The University Code of Conduct currently protects students from discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation."
"It's absurd that we have students at this school who are not protected now," said SA Sen. Michael Komo, CCAS-U, who is president of Allied in Pride.
Though the Student Code of Conduct does not specifically mention transgender students, the Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities states that the University is subject to the D.C. Human Rights Act, which does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
"We feel we already have in place those protections," University spokeswoman Tracy Schario said.
Komo said he hopes the policy will be changed by the start of the next academic year. With the SA senate's approval, it will move forward to administrators in the coming weeks for review.
While Komo said Alston-Smith's story is a major reason why the Code of Conduct should be changed, he added that there have been other incidents regarding transgender student rights that make this legislation relevant.
"Devin's story was one of several different stories where transgender students have not been protected at this university for simply being who they are," Komo wrote in an e-mail. "We need to ensure the safety of every single student at George Washington. This initiative will help to get us to that end goal."
Alston-Smith said the current situation, if left unresolved, will continue to be problematic.
"All of this goes on under the radar and no one knows what's happening," Alston-Smith said. "LGBT students like myself are fighting against harassment, but also the school because they don't know how to deal with it."
9. The Chanticleer Online, February 5, 2009
700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602
SAFE now JSU LGBT: Organization hopes to promote equality for gay students
By Julie Skinner
Since the 1980s, Jacksonville State University has had an organization on its campus representing gay and lesbian students. The organization was named SAFE (Sexual Acceptance For Everyone).
Since 2005, Dr. Tina Deshotels, a professor of sociology at JSU, has been the faculty advisor for SAFE. Recently, after a semester or so of inactivity among the organization, new interest and leadership has risen and changes will soon take place within the organization.
For starters, the name of the organization will be changed from SAFE to JSU LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender).
The reasoning behind the organizations name change was explained by new President of JSU LGBT, Patrick Clines.
"A lot of people would like to change the name [of the organization] because it has the word 'sex' in it," Clines said. "It's not about our sexual orientation or how we have sex, it's about being socially accepted."
The organization acts as a safe-haven for many open homosexuals or college students who are afraid to come out. It's a gathering place for those who face discrimination in discreet or obvious form.
"On this campus, you usually won't have someone come out and make an openly racist or sexist remark," Deshotels said. "But, they will come right out and bash gays."
Deshotels explained that being a faculty member and approaching the subject is easier to do with a strong backing of an openly gay-accepting organization on campus. She also stresses the importance of the organization when mentioning that gay teens, of all groups, have the highest suicide rate. That is a startling reality. Another reality, is that while people may find it hard to believe, homosexuals make up 10% of the population.
Though the organization's purpose is to fight against discrimination and for equality, it is open to straight people to join.
"The organization is open to anyone accepting of gay and lesbian people," Clines said. "It's just as much a group to fight for equality as a group for gay and lesbian students to have a support system with other gay students to talk about the same issues they face."
Clines hopes to do some fundraisers and community projects on campus to let students know there is a visibly gay organization at JSU.
"There's a lot of misconceptions about gay people and a lot of stereotypes," Deshotels said. "I think education is the best way to address these problems."
To join the organization is very simple. You don't have to even go to meetings, just be accepting of the organizations intentions and their future fundraisers.
For now, the meetings for the JSU LGBT will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Brewer Hall in room 328. For more information, contact Patrick Clines at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, there is a Facebook group for the organization that can be searched for by typing in "JSU LGBT."
10. The Daily Pennsylvanian, February 6, 2009
4015 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6198
The end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?
By Abby Johnston
Since it was passed in 1993, the Clinton administration's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has prevented open members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from serving in the military due to claims of persecution and forced resignations.
Fortunately for those the policy affects, times may change with the new presidential administration - a change many in the LGBT community would welcome on campus.
Since the policy was passed, that community has been vocally opposed to the presence of Reserve Officer Training Corps and military recruitment on campus because they allege the military is a discriminatory organization.
And while President Barack Obama has expressed support for military recruiters and ROTC on university campuses, he has also expressed support for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Scott Calvert, executive officer of Penn's Naval ROTC, explained that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was intended to encourage LGBT members to join the military, even if they don't openly declare their sexuality.
"It's a tool that allows homosexual people to serve," he said, "but it oftentimes gets framed like it's a tool to punish people."
Bob Schoenberg, director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center, disagreed.
Military recruiters and ROTC retain their position on Penn's campus despite the school's nondiscrimination policy that should prohibit their presence until they accept all members of the community equally, Schoenberg said.
He referenced a recent statement by Penn President Amy Gutmann in which she said Penn will continue to violate its own nondiscrimination policy by retaining a military presence on campus until "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed.
Schoenberg said he objects to the military presence solely because of its discriminatory implications.
"If Obama succeeds in changing the department of defense's policy, then there's no essential problem," he said.
Lambda Alliance chairman and College junior Dennie Zastrow said he hopes for the best from the new administration. "I definitely think there will be a big shift in power," he said.
He also emphasized the importance of retaining ROTC programs on academically-elite university campuses, explaining that the programs can provide a more liberal education than officers would receive if solely educated by the military.
Calvert, Schoenberg and Zastrow agree, however, that the military may have fewer problems liberalizing than people expect if the legislation changes.
Schoenberg pointed out the similarities of this situation to when the military integrated on the basis of race.
When race-based discrimination became illegal, many other institutions had problems adjusting to new "color blind" policies, he said. As a result, the military was a good place for people of color to start their careers.
Schoenberg said he believes that once nondiscrimination against LGBT people is legalized, the military may easily integrate new members once again.
"Most of our students probably don't particularly care one way or the other," Calvert said. "They've chosen to serve personally and aren't looking to exclude anybody else from making that same choice."
11. The Daily Free Press (Boston University), February 6, 2009
Students ask for 'don't ask' repeal
By Chonel LaPorte and Camille Roane
Ema Alsina helped organize a "don't ask, don't tell" protest outside Marsh Chapel last April, hoping the policy would become a thing of the past by the time President Barack Obama took office. However, the president announced that he wanted to investigate further before making a final decision, bursting her rainbow-colored bubble.
"I was really disappointed in Obama because this makes no sense," Alsina, a College of Arts and Sciences junior, said.
"Don't ask, don't tell," is a law that prohibits military officials from asking enlistees about their sexual orientation and bars gays from discussing their sexuality that has been in effect since 1993.
Alsina said an investigation into the effects of repealing the law is a waste of time.
"There are gay people who will fight and die to protect their country when the country is not giving them full rights," she said.
Shelby Condray, a School of Theology graduate, was arrested in Times Square last May after refusing to leave a military recruitment center while fellow protester Jacob Reitan tried to enlist as an openly gay American.
Condray said he thinks Obama, like past politicians, was afraid to take a definitive stance on the issue because he feared alienating constituents.
"It's stalling. Right now, it's saying, 'I don't want to spend the political capital because it's not an issue that enough people care about'," Condray said.
Delaying the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" reminded Condray of Obama's choice of Rick Warren, an opponent of gay marriage, to deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration, Condray said.
"I think it's the same thing. It shows a dramatic lack of interest, a willingness to throw the gay community under a bus if it's politically expedient," Condray said.
Boston University School of Law constitutional law professor Tracey Maclin said the only justification behind the law was prejudice.
"Gays and lesbians that serve in the military should have the same equal protection rights that others in the military have," he said. "The justifications . . . just don't justify the discrimination. You have to provide some justification that goes beyond prejudice."
Maclin said an investigation of whether the policy is unconstitutional is unnecessary.
"There is no need to investigate that gays and lesbians are being run out of military and aren't being allowed to advance in their careers," he said. "It is unfair and unconstitutional."
Justin Touchette, the vice president of Spectrum, BU's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organization, said he hoped Obama would repeal the law eventually.
"I don't judge his [Obama's] decision too harshly because he has many more [things] to consider than just the LGBT community," Touchette, a College of Communication sophomore, said in an email. "But, everyone is definitely counting on him to make big changes and repealing this law is one of the few changes that the queer community expected."
Other BU students said they hoped the law would be repealed, but were happy that the Obama administration had decided to investigate first.
Pietroboni said she was concerned that discrimination could still occur even if the law was repealed.
"It's kind of like either with or without the law, people are still going to persecute gay people," she said.
H. Joachim Maitre, international relations professor and former director of military education at BU, said the problem was not with the law, but with the prejudice against homosexuality that is present in US culture.
"The old prejudice of homosexuality . . . in a [military] unit is raising problems," he said. "The problem is with the prejudice, not the law."
Maitre said the Obama administration should not be investigating the policy when there are other pressing issues at hand.
"It offers no problems today . . . except for those who are homosexual," he said. "It is not an issue for him [Obama]. He is dealing with so many problems."
12. Fort Mill Times (Fort Mill, SC), February 6, 2009
124 Main Street, Fort Mill, SC 29715
Lawmakers: Throw sex experts off college faculty
By Greg Bluestein
ATLANTA — Upset House Republicans are mounting a campaign to purge Georgia's higher education system of professors with an expertise in racy sexuality topics as the state grapples with a $2.2 billion shortfall.
State Rep. Charlice Byrd of Woodstock took the House well on Friday to announce a "grass-roots" effort to oust professors with expertise in subjects like male prostitution, oral sex and "queer theory."
"This is not considered higher education," she said. "If legislators are going to dole out the dollars, we should have a say-so in where they go."
Byrd and her supporters, including state Rep. Calvin Hill, said they will team with the Christian Coalition and other religious groups to pressure fellow lawmakers and the Board of Regents to eliminate the jobs.
"Our job is to educate our people in sciences, business, math," said Hill, a vice chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. He said professors aren't going to meet those needs "by teaching a class in queer theory."
The Board of Regents, which oversees the state's colleges and universities, has bristled at attempts by legislators to dictate who it should hire. A regents spokesman said the system's mission - teaching, research and service - is a broad field.
He said the state's schools hire faculty with expertise in a range of subjects as part of "a tradition of investigating the human experience." And he noted that they aren't teaching "how to" courses, but rather they are experts on the sociological trends and risks.
"Certainly the mission of higher education is to broaden the field of knowledge and research," said spokesman John Millsaps. "That covers a lot of topics. Some may be considered to some as controversial, but to others it could be considered needed."
Hill and Byrd were incensed to learn a University of Georgia professor teaches a graduate course on "queer theory." They also took aim at Georgia State University, where an annual guide to its faculty experts lists a sociology lecturer as an expert in oral sex and faculty member Kirk Elifson as an expert in male prostitution.
Georgia State University spokeswoman Andrea Jones called the critics' argument "flawed."
"Teaching courses in criminal justice, for example, does not mean that our students are being prepared to become criminals. Quite the opposite," said Jones. "Legitimate research and teaching are central to the development of relevant and effective policy."
Hill expressed frustration that the higher education system isn't adopting harsh cuts - such as furloughs - at a time when other agencies are doing so. But he added that he would have called for the cuts even if there was no budget crisis.
"This doesn't belong in our universities," he said. "The universities should stick to their core missions."
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