Haters Criticize Celebration for LGBT Graduates at Texas A&M

by Dan Quinn

Religious-right activists are predictably outraged that LGBT students at Texas A&M will celebrate their spring graduation at a special campus event today (April 16). The university’s GLBT Resource Center is sponsoring the banquet, dubbed Lavender Graduation, this evening. Phyllis Frye, an A&M alum and the state’s first transgender judge, will be the featured speaker. (Frye’s appointment in 2010 as a municipal judge in Houston also sparked predictable outrage from religious-righters. They always seem to be mad about something.)

Students won’t receive their diplomas at the Lavender Graduation event. The university’s official commencement ceremony is in May. Lavender Graduation is simply a celebration, much like those hosted by other student organizations and academic departments at Texas A&M and on other campuses around the country. But anti-gay activists are attacking it anyway.

One News Now, the propaganda website for American Family Association (which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as an anti-gay hate group), quotes one of the most obnoxious voices of hate in Texas in a story about the event:

Regardless of the motive, Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, says this is foolhardy.

“This special Texas A&M ceremony essentially promotes and celebrates dangerous and risky sexual activity that can fiercely jeopardize a person’s well-being,” he tells OneNewsNow. “I’m not sure this is the most responsible way for a university to prepare students for the real world.”

Saenz also points out an issue that he believes introduces a problem for the school as it promotes the LGBT lifestyle: Texas recently passed an amendment to its constitution banning same-sex marriage.

“It would seem that groups like this at Texas A&M do not support our state law,” he suggests. “And so I would understand why students would be concerned that their fees would give the impression of being used to really advocate against clearly established law.”

Religious-right activists like Saenz seem to be obsessed by gay sex and LGBT relationships. It’s as if they see every occasion — even a graduation celebration, for Pete’s sake — as an opportunity to talk about both. (Frankly, it’s kind of creepy.)

Most Americans have grown tired of political activists who try to stigmatize and marginalize LGBT people. Public polling shows this pretty clearly. And poll after poll also shows that most Americans — by a substantial and growing margin — support marriage equality for all.

The Texas Freedom Network congratulates all of this spring’s graduates — LGBT or otherwise — and we wish nothing but success and happiness for them as they move on to their next adventures. We also wish the haters out there would get a life — or at least stop obsessing over and interfering in the lives of people they don’t like.

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