Monday, August 23, 2010

QNOC Digest 2010.08.22

Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2010.08.22

Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.

Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at

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1. The Daily Campus (Southern Methodist University) - Students speak out on Proposition 8
2. The Augusta Chronicle - Counselors shouldn't express beliefs

1. The Daily Campus (Southern Methodist University), August 15, 2010
3140 Dyer St. #314, Dallas, TX 75275
Students speak out on Proposition 8
By Jessica Huseman

SMU’s student body has been following the issue closely. The Daily Campus spoke to the leaders of College Democrats, College Republicans, University Libertarians, and Spectrum, SMU’s LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) organization, to gauge their stances on the issue.
“The overturn of California’s Prop 8 in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a victory not only for marriage equality supporters but for those who believe in due process and equal protection,” said David DelaFuente, president of College Democrats. He said the overturning of Proposition 8 restored equal rights and protections to all Californians.
Stephen Cesson, Red-President of University Libertarians agreed with DelaFuente. “We, as Libertarians, are first and foremost Constitutionalists. We believe the decision by Judge Walker was in line with the principle of equal protection under the law outlined in the 14th Amendment,” said Cesson. “We believe, that regardless of race, religion or, in this case, gender, that all individuals must have equal protection under the Constitution.”
Cesson noted that Libertarians believe that marriage “is a personal matter between two people, and it should not be regulated.” He said as long as the government issues marriage licenses, “they must do so in a matter consistent with the principles America was founded on–that is, Liberty and Justice for all citizens.”
Chad Cohen, president of College Republicans took a different stance. He believes the judge did not present “a compelling reason that established the inadequacy or inferiority of domestic partnerships in satisfying the rights of same-sex couples.”
He noted that, “Going forward, the solution to the issue of the rights of same-sex couples must satisfy the need to respect the rights of same-sex couples while still maintaining traditional values.
He also believes Judge Walker overstepped his judicial authority by overruling the vote of “over seven million voters in the state of California."
“Changes in the law, especially significant changes such as this, merit deliberate consideration and measured action,” said Cohen. “A sweeping decision of this nature runs contrary to the principle of judicial restraint that should inform all rulings from the bench.
DelaFuente disagreed, “The will of the people in a referendum cannot be heard if the referendum itself causes harm to a minority population,” said DelaFuente.
Aaron Barnes, co-president of Spectrum, said that the overturning of Proposition 8 “restored hope in all corners of the queer community,” and noted that the most important effect will be “the restoration of zeal in the queer rights movement, our faith in ourselves and our cause."
Barnes said he was “appalled” when Proposition 8 passed. “It seemed like, for all the nobility of our cause, nothing beat the power of money and blind, ignorant hatred. Joke’s on me–all it took was one judge, one person in a position of real power, put there by US - that is, we the people - to see the truth, and restore justice. God Bless America.”
Red-President of University Libertarians, Spencer Matthews, said that University Libertarians will begin to “work more closely” with LGBTQ groups on campus. “It is one thing to write that we support their fight on paper, but we want to really walk with them so we really know what the fight is about, not just what they want to achieve with it,” he said. “We want to do this because we want to show them they are not alone.”

2. The Augusta Chronicle, August 17, 2010
725 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901
Counselors shouldn't express beliefs
By Kelcey Allen

I am writing in response to the Augusta State University lawsuit alleging religious discrimination concerning a student's beliefs about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
I also am a graduate counseling student at a different university, and was told at the interview that "you can have whatever opinion or beliefs you desire, but it is unprofessional and potentially harmful to express it."
Jennifer Keeton alleges that writing papers and undergoing diversity classes are forcing her to change her beliefs, but I disagree. Changing your opinion and simply not expressing it are two starkly different things. When a client comes to see you, they often are in a vulnerable, emotional state. If someone in a position of power informs them they are "wrong," this statistically increases the likelihood of suicide or harm.
Universities do not make up diversity procedures to be ornery or disrespectful to students' beliefs -- these are professional guidelines and regulations followed in the counseling field. If universities do not correct behaviors that counselors cannot exhibit for safety reasons, they are not only at risk of losing their accreditation, but they are setting up students for failure.
Ms. Keeton would be fired for these behaviors in the workplace. If she cannot follow national guidelines for the profession, perhaps she should consider other scholarly pursuits.

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