The Chuck Norris Amendmentby
If you’re a heterosexual college student, state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, wants you to stay that way. Just the heterosexual part; the House is still slashing funds for education, so you’re apparently on your own for the student part. But keep Rep. Christian in your thoughts next time you’re walking into your campus’ Chuck Norris Student Center for Family and Traditional Values, Martial Arts and Tractor Pulling.
In only a few moments of mic time on the House floor late Friday evening, Christian somehow managed to insinuate university gender and sexuality centers are making students gay, came dangerously close to equating such centers with terrorists, and probably had some analyst working the night shift at Google wondering, “Why do we have all these searches for ‘pansexual’ coming from Texas?”
During the budget debate in the Texas House, Christian offered an amendment mandating that Texas colleges and universities that spend funds on gender and sexuality centers also spend the same amount on what Christian called “Student Centers for Family and Traditional Values.”
Christian said his amendment was in response to centers like the one found at the University of Texas at Austin, which touts its gender and sexuality center as a safe place for students, “Serving Women and LGBTQA Communities.”
Here’s the amendment text:
Funding of Student Centers for Family and Traditional Values. It is the intent of the Legislature that an institution of higher education shall use an amount of appropriated funds to support a family and traditional values center for students of the institution that is not less than any amount of appropriated funds used by the institution to support a gender and sexuality center or other center for students focused on gay, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, transsexual, transgender, gender questioning, or other gender identity issues.
So what Christian is supposedly attempting is to level the playing field, to provide a space where college students can be straight, a place where the heterosexual can go without fear that they might come out of there gay, where they like coffee without the latte, their football American and their beers domestic. Chuck Norris would be proud.
No, really. Here’s how Christian explained it (full video posted below):
Well, currently, the University of Texas, Texas A&M, some other schools have a gender and sexuality center — brick and mortar — that they are using for alternative sexual practices, to encourage them, by allowing them, by teaching them, by giving courses of study, by giving literature, questionnaires. I’m not treading on their rights to do that — to teach alternative sexual behavior — but my amendment says that it would just allow that if they’re going to do it, they have to spend equal dollars teaching, also at that university, or allowing at that university — not teaching — allowing the same space and the same opportunities for traditional family values.
Christian got even deeper in it when he offered terrorists as a metaphor, which rarely ever ends well unless you’re making a comparison to actual terrorists. The exchange came when state Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, challenged Christian to explain why the legislature should interfere with what universities do with their funding. Christian replied:
“If they were instructing students on how to make terrorism, bombs or murder, or whatever. There’s all kind of issues that we do not desire, that they study. So we do regulate what they can and cannot teach in our universities and all of our public institutions.”
And then there was the exchange when Castro challenged Christian to define the term ‘pansexual.’ He couldn’t.
Here’s video of the entire exchange.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-PAujB-r64&w=480&h=390]
Christian’s amendment passed. We wonder if the traditional values centers will include a course on “Western Civilization.”