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Louisiana

LGBT studies program stirs controversy at University of Louisiana

Friday, July 13, 2012

LAFAYETTE, La. — A new minor at the University of Louisiana Lafayette is stirring up controversy and has some calling for the university to remove the program from its curriculum.

The University became the first in the state to offer an LGBT studies minor last spring. According to the website for the minor, it offers students with a chance at broad interdisciplinary study. In order for students to successfully complete the minor, they must complete 18 credit hours in LGBT studies.

However, U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) does not agree with the schools implementation of the program.

Landry, an alumnus of ULL, said the minor limits employment opportunities and offers little economic benefit for taxpayers — he requested the university remove the minor from its curriculum.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn of the new LGBT studies program at ULL,” he said in a statement. “I respectfully request the university reverse its decision and drop this academic program.”

His statement was met with support from the Louisiana Family Forum — a group dedicated to “upholding traditional values” — who also called for the programs removal. A statement uploaded on to their website called the program a “degree in immorality,” and the group questioned the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the minor.

“The University’s web page for the new LGBT minor clearly omits facts and statistics which demonstrate the medical, physical, emotional and dangers of a lifestyle which is counter to Louisiana values,” the statement read. “Louisiana Family Forum is disappointed in this misuse of public and student tuition funds.”

Joseph Savoie, ULL President, released a statement on his blog defending the program and correcting false information. Savoie said that the implementation of the minor did not need additional funding and explained that the program is as minor, not a major — as some reports stated.

Savoie also reiterated the fact that programs across many different areas allow students to be better prepared and better off in the job market. He warned that personal beliefs should not limit education.

“Regardless of our personal beliefs, as an academic institution, the university is obligated and committed to, within the law, the discovery and dissemination of knowledge,” he said.

“Our responsibility is to provide in an impartial manner, an opportunity for investigation, analysis and understanding.”

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18 more reader comments:

  1. the class gives new meaning to sucking heads

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:26pm
  2. If they want to study it let them, who cares they pay tens of thousands of dollars and are adults, ppl need to screw off

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:26pm
  3. I’ll bet they gave hell to the fashion-design program too!

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:28pm
  4. People never cease to amaze me. I really can’t believe so many people waste so much time worrying about LGBTQ life. If they really are Christians, in my humble opinion, the time would be better spent on Oh I don’t know maybe helping homeless youth or batteres women or . . . I could go on & on . . .

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:32pm
  5. It depends what the course entails, I think if it was a more broad course, covering more kinds of discrimination it’d be much more viable, and would offer more to the students.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:33pm
  6. LGBTQ people are a part of this country and world. The sooner people face up to it and stop fighting it, the better! Good for them!

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:34pm
  7. The thing I find I have to remind myself with is the difference between being a christian and a follower of Christ.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:35pm
  8. It’s needed in La.!!! Good work!!

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:37pm
  9. They are afraid of their students studying some kind of immoral lifestyle? Does the University of Louisiana have a minor in criminal justice? Do they have a minor in psychology? The discovery and dissemination of knowledge sometimes includes topics of which some people may be uncomfortable. That’s real learning.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 7:39pm
  10. Louisiana makes me face/palm.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8:00pm
  11. As all schools should follow suit with this minor program! To eliminate hate you have to educate!

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8:09pm
  12. As a student at ULL Im pretty excited to see these changes. Even though Im an engineering major and won’t be participating in the program, it’s definitely something this school, town, AND state could benefit from…

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8:24pm
  13. Honestly, someone needs to hold this idiots head under in a vat of gumbo until he sees the light!

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 9:11pm
  14. Has anyone ever seen any distance learning LGBT Studies courses in the UK?

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:10pm
  15. All the university is group EXISTING programs together to form this minor. Would have been a non-story if this wasn’t an election year.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:20pm
  16. I think the “Christian conservatives” are scared to let others learn the truth. They keep focusing on sexual acts instead of true Love like the Bible teaches. Such courses would shed a light on the truth, that they can’t handle. They would loose power over the lemmings that follow their misguided teachings. Their followers would ask questions, and they can’t handle that. Yes the emperor has no clothes.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:31pm
  17. LOL…Louisiana…showing it’s backwardness.

    Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:35pm
  18. I’m not sure what to think. It really depends on the criteria. If it’s a course to basically show that hey, we’re just people too then good, they’re combating homophobia….if not yeah, just depends on the criteria and the context. Anyone have the information on it?

    Posted on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 6:33pm