On Wednesday the Texas House Higher Education Committee will consider legislation that could force Texas colleges and universities to allow student organizations to discriminate. House Bill 360 by state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would withhold state funding from a public or private institution of higher education that requires religious and other student organizations to allow students to participate regardless of those students’ “beliefs or status, including race, gender, and sexual orientation.”
Rep. Krause says his bill is intended to protect the religious freedom of student organizations to exclude those who don’t share their beliefs. Yet his bill could force college campuses to allow — and even fund — student chapters for anti-gay hate groups and racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan if they claim that their discriminatory practices are based on their religious beliefs.
- HB 360 could require colleges and universities to fund student organizations that engage in discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation.
- HB 360 puts protection of biases like racism, sexism, and homophobia ahead of protecting students from improper discrimination.
- HB 360 could force schools to provide taxpayer funded facilities and funds from student activity fees to support extremist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations.