Six stabbed at Jerusalem Pride

Yishai Schlissel

Yishai Schlissel today, left, and in 2005 from Israeli TV via Twitter

At least six people were stabbed today at Jerusalem’s Pride parade. One woman is in critical condition.

The person accused is a heredi, or Orthodox, man who staged a similar attack at Jerusalem Pride in 2005. He was recently released from prison.

While Pride in secular Tel Aviv in June attracts about 200,000 people annually, Pride in more religious Jerusalem remains controversial. But thousands of people participated in this year’s march that had heavy police protection.

Police quickly wrestled the man down, according to a report in HaAretz.

The attacker was identified as Yishai Schlissel. His original sentence was for 12 years, but was reduced to 10 years on appeal.

In response to the stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem Pride Parade earlier today, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

We are horrified and saddened by the stabbing of six people at today’s Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. Even more chilling is the news that the assailant was previously convicted of committing the same crime a decade ago. Participants in the Gay Pride Parade, a celebration of love and liberty, should never need to worry about being victims of a hate crime. Our sympathies and prayers are with those attacked, and we stand in solidarity with all in the Israeli LGBT community.  We call on Israeli law enforcement to ensure the perpetrator is never again allowed to cause harm and on policymakers to combat the troubling persistence of hate crimes.

—  David Taffet

U Dallas grad condemns commencement address, calls on school president to apologize for speaker

Brent bozell

Brent Bozell

A cum laude graduate at the University of Dallas‘ 2015 spring graduation ceremonies is calling of UD President Thomas W. Keefe to apologize for a bigoted rant of a commencement address delivered at the school’s recent spring 2015 graduation ceremony, or let LGBT students know they aren’t welcome at the school in the first place.

University of Dallas, a private Catholic liberal arts university in Irving, was included on The Princeton Review’s 2013 list of the “most gay-unfriendly” schools in the country. But Maxwell Frazier, who just received a degree in science, said he heard a speech by Keefe four years ago that convinced him to attend the school, despite it’s reputation as homophobic and conservative. Frazier said that Keefe had pledged, “Everyone, regardless of background or creed, was to be made welcome and at liberty to share their thoughts.”

But after the school invited right-wing activist/writer Brent Bozell to deliver the spring commencement address, Frazier said called on Keefe to apologize and establish a gay-straight alliance at the school, or “make a clear statement that we are not wanted and will not be accommodated for at UD. To be anywhere in between is to fail your entire student body. You cannot deceive and mislead people into thinking an environment is healthy for them if you are not dedicated to fulfilling that promise.”

Bozell, who has founded a number of right-wing “media” organizations, has had articles published in a number of newspapers and magazines and is a regular on Fox News’ Hannity. But last year, former employees of his Media Research Center claimed that Bozwell pays a ghostwriter to write his columns and books, at least one newspaper dropped his regular column.

Bozwell is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, during a Fox News broadcast, he said President Obama looks like “a skinny ghetto crackhead.”

Frazier said Bozell turned “what should have been a celebratory speech into an aggressive and politically charged tirade. … He obliged our student body to willingly break anti-discrimination laws and be proud to face criminal charges for discriminating against homosexuals. He very clearly made me out to be the enemy of my entire graduating class. He lamented a mediocre reality show being canned by its network for its patriarch’s homophobic commentary, and a moment later called for us to stand against South Park for portraying the pope the way it portrays everyone, satirically ridiculous. The hypocrisy and textbook homophobia were prevalent.”

Frazier’s “open letter” to Keefe is available online at as a petition. View it here. In a comment on the website, one U Dallas graduate said he was ashamed by the school’s intolerance and noted when he attended, former U.S. senator and current Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was invited to speak at a commencement ceremony.

—  Tammye Nash

Lesbian news briefs: Homophobic principal; homophobic pediatrician; homophobic day care

Louisiana school board president questions principal’s anti-lesbian ruling

Screen shot 2015-04-06 at 3.51.28 PM

Claudetteia Love

Monroe City School Board President Rodney McFarland said he has called a meeting with School Superintendent Brent Vidrine after Carroll High School Principal Patrick Taylor warned an openly lesbian student she would not be allowed to wear a tux to her prom.

According to the News Star, Carroll High School senior Claudetteia Love was going to boycott her prom after Taylor told her she could not wear a tuxedo to the event.

Love’s mother, Geraldine Jackson, said she Taylor told her that members of the faculty “working the prom told him they weren’t going to work the prom if [girls] were going to wear tuxes. That’s his exact words: ‘Girls wear dresses and boys wear tuxes, and that’s the way it is.”

Taylor reportedly said his decision was based upon the dress code and had nothing to do with Love’s sexuality. But McFarland wasn’t so sure.

“As school board president, I don’t agree with Carroll banning her from her prom just because of what she wants to wear. Tthat’s discrimination,” McFarland said. “As far as I know, there is no Monroe City School Board policy saying what someone has to wear to attend the prom. You can’t just go making up policies.”

Love is an honors student who will attend Jackson State University next year on a full academic scholarship. She said she was upset by the controversy, especially because the school had previously held her up as a shining example to the student body.

Love said she is concerned for girls “in lower grades than me, … I don’t want them to feel like they are less of a person because people don’t accept them.”


Pediatrician refuses to treat infant with lesbian parents

Michigan pediatrician Dr. Vesna Roi, despite having initially agreed to treat the infant daughter of Krista and Jami Contreras, backed out at the last minute because the child’s parents are lesbians, according to

The couple said that Roi, a doctor with Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Mich., had been highly recommended by their midwife, and they had met with her before their daughter, Bay, was born. They said Roi didn’t express any doubts or misgivings then, they said.

But when they took their daughter in for her first appointment, another doctor greeted them, telling them that “Dr. Roi decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won’t be able to care for [your daughter],’”Jami Contreras told The Washington Post. “Dr. Karam told us she didn’t even come to the office that morning because she didn’t want to see us.”

The two women said they were upset, hurt, embarrassed and humiliated. Jami Contreras said, “As far as we know Bay doesn’t have a sexual orientation yet so I’m not really sure what that matters. We’re not your patient — she’s your patient. And the fact is that your job is to keep babies healthy and you can’t keep a baby healthy that has gay parents?”

The Contreras continued with that first appointment but immediately began searching for another pediatric office, making sure that everyone they subsequently spoke to  knew up front that they were lesbians and would have no problems with that.

Several months after their appointment, Dr. Roi sent the couple a letter explaining, “After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.

“I felt that it was an exciting time for the two of you and I felt that if I came in and shared my decision it would take away much of the excitement. That was my mistake. I should not have made that assumption and I apologize for that.

“We do not keep prenatal information once we have our meetings so I had no way to contact you. I should have spoken with you directly that day…please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice.”

According to CBS Detroit, there are currently no laws that protect LGBT families from discrimination.


Manitoba day care denies service to lesbian couple

Manitoba Attorney General James Allum says he is outraged by allegations a lesbian couple was denied a Winnipeg daycare spot for their baby girl because of their sexual orientation, according to The Canadian Press.

Allum said no one in this day and age should be denied service on that grounds. “That’s simply outrageous. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Agata Durkalec and her partner, Kate Taylor, say they are filing a human rights complaint after they say they were denied a Winnipeg daycare spot for their baby girl because of their sexual orientation.

The couple moved to Winnipeg from Ontario recently and began looking for a daycare for their 10-month-old daughter.

They thought they were in luck when they found an opening at a home daycare, but allege the daycare operator withdrew the offer in writing when she found out they are lesbians.

“My heart goes out to both of you but I know where my families stand on the subject, therefore it would not be a good fit,” the woman allegedly wrote to Durkalec. “I hope everything works out for you and your family.”

The couple, saying they were stunned by the response, picked up papers from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and will be filing a complaint, Durkalec said.

Although they are no longer interested in putting their daughter in the home daycare, Durkalec said it should be made clear that any discrimination based on sexual orientation is wrong.

Allum said the allegations would be best handled by the human rights commission.

—  Tammye Nash

Prestonwood church, which has a history of sex abuse, is opposing Plano ordinance


Prestonwood Baptist Church, competing with First Baptist Church of Dallas for the title of area’s most homophobic

Prestonwood Baptist Church has become the center of activity when it comes to collecting signatures to repeal the new Plano nondiscrimination ordinance and capture the title of most homophobic church in the Metroplex from First Baptist Church of Dallas.

That defender of religious freedom may also be remembered as the church where a pastor had to resign in 2008 because he was caught soliciting sex from a minor.

Sr. Pastor Jack Graham, who is spearheading the signature collection effort for the Plano recall, accepted the resignation of Pastor Joe Barron after a 2008 sex sting.

“Barron was charged … with online solicitation of a minor,” according to an AP story from the time. “Undercover officers posing as a 13-year-old girl communicated with the 52-year-old minister for about two weeks. The online conversations were sexual in nature, police said.”

After connecting with “her” online, the Prestonwood minister drove 200 miles to meet her in Bryan. He was arrested and released on $7,000 bail.

In 2009, he was sentenced to seven years in prison after reaching a plea deal. He had to serve a quarter of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole and then had to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

While that was the most famous case of child abuse, there have been other allegations.

In the late 1980s, minister John Langworthy was dismissed after charges of child abuse. Langworthy moved to Clinton, Miss. where he served at Morrison Heights Southern Baptist for two decades

“There, he recently received a 50-year suspended sentence for molesting multiple boys as young as 6,” according to Baptist News Global. “But Langworthy avoided prison time because, in the plea bargain process, prosecutors were concerned about the statute of limitations.”

A Facebook group has formed called People Against Prestonwood’s Silence on Allegations of Sexual Abuse.

In December, referring to Langworthy, they posted:

“It still seems unbelievable that Jack Graham was a 2-term President of the Southern Baptist Convention and has been given a complete pass (so far) for his role in allowing a predator to go on a multi-decade rampage raping children across Mississippi. Truly jaw dropping when you think about it.”

—  David Taffet

When Gov. Perry makes homophobic comments, it’s not news


Gov. Rick Perry has oral sex with a corny dog

I’ve had a number of people send me copies of articles about Gov. Rick Perry making homophobic comments in San Francisco this week. They wondered: Did I miss it?

Nope. Didn’t miss it. Just didn’t think Perry making stupid comments rated as news anymore.

We’ve covered Perry’s self-hating homophobia. Former state Rep. Glen Maxey, who served in the Texas House of Representatives with Perry, even wrote a book about Perry’s closet. For anyone interested, the book’s still available on Amazon.

So when Perry equates homosexuality to alcoholism, we have to wonder. He was in San Francisco. Was he once again that tempted? Overwhelmed? Unable to control either his drinking or his libido?

But is Perry’s stupidity news? No. But we are excited about another Rick Perry run for president. Please run. Please. It’ll be so much fun. Even if you don’t run, could you please, please at least have a debate with Hillary?


Gov. Rick Perry’s Brokeback Mountain ad from his last presidential bid

—  David Taffet

Don’t worry, Dale — we think you’re a hunk


Dale Hansen shown here as a young hunk.

As long as Dale Hansen brought up the subject, we’ll say it. Dale, at Dallas Voice, we voted that you still got it. You are officially one red-hot piece of beefcake.

When Michael Sam came out in February, Hansen said the NFL was ready for a gay player. Apparently, he was the only sportscaster in the country who said anything like that because the commentary got noticed nationally and landed him on Ellen.

Once Sam was drafted, Hansen weighed in again. His commentary is below. Hansen said he can’t believe there are 248 college players better than Sam. He also mentioned he’s worked with lots of gay guys at Channel 8 over the years, and he’s never gotten hit on by any of them. He wonders if it’s just because gay men tend to be professional at work or if he’s just not that attractive.

So, Dale, we want to assure you it’s just how professional your colleagues have been. You are one hot hunk, and we love you. Why, we’re even nominating you to be grand marshal of this year’s Pride parade in September.

I bet when Hansen meets Sam, if Sam gives him a hug and thanks him for being the only sports reporter in the country to fully support him from the beginning, Hansen is just secure enough to take it as nothing more than a sincere thank you.

And a note to Sam’s new team: He’s not going to hit on you. He already has a pretty great boyfriend.

—  David Taffet

Stupid is as stupid does, or whatever

Screen shot 2014-05-13 at 8.58.03 AMI usually ignore stupid. I ignore it when people tell me I could pass for white. I ignore it when I hear someone say Africa is a country (help us, sweet Jesus), and I didn’t say a word when someone once said to me, “Don’t put too much ice in the glass cause when it melts it will spill over.” I swear she did.

So, I was tempted to ignore this email because it just reeks of stupid. A man named Weldon Cranfield sent it to our publisher, Leo Cusimano, who forwarded it to me. It seems Weldon’s Christian sensibilities are reeling after the Rams drafted Michael Sam this weekend. Bless his heart. I mean, it’s OK for Christians to murder, enslave, invade heathen countries (it’s for their own good) and stomp out other religions in the name of God, but OMG … Earth is ready to spin off its axis because an out gay man got drafted by those infidel Rams. Shame on them.

You’ll have to read lil’ ol’ Weldon’s email. It’s a jewel. I’m still trying to figure out how “blacks compromise just 12% of the population” as Weldon claims. Is he bragging that we’ve kept them from compromising more? It’s a wonder Texas and the other Southern states survived integration. Didn’t the prophets predict civilization would perish if black and white children attended school together? Or if blacks and whites ate in the same restaurant? W.A. Criswell, the intellectually impoverished leader of First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1944 to 1991, said it would. The day after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Criswell preached a sermon that explained why God had ordained segregation. Straight out of the ass’ mouth. I mean horse’s.

Anyway, we were speaking about Weldon and his gifted use of language. Compromise, comprise. What’s the difference? Weldon is concerned, after all, for the good of all, and a black, out gay player in the NFL isn’t for the good of all. Just ask Weldon. Better yet, read his email. I’ve included his email address in case you want to thank him. I love how he signs off with “Sincerely.” Gosh, he’s polite.

“Dear Sir,

“The news today is Michael Sam became the first seventh round draft pick ever to get a call from the president of the United States and the president wasn’t calling him to congratulate him for his football prowess.  He is not that gifted as a football player!  He was drafted because he is a homosexual?

“There are less than 2 percent of Americans who are homosexual or lesbian people. Americans should not let 2 percent of the population change the definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years. Not to mention the medical ramifications.

“While the Center for Disease Control reports that 78% of all new HIV infections are among males, primarily those who have had sex with other men, HIV/AIDS is taking a monstrous toll on the young man in particular. According to the CDC, more than a quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States are found in young males between the ages of 13–24, particularly in young males between 20–24, the category into which Sam falls. In fact, young man are the only age group in which the rate of HIV/AIDS infections is showing a significant increase.

“Despite the fact that blacks compromise just 12% of the population, blacks who are Sam’s age represent an astonishing 57% of all new cases among young males. There are more new HIV infections among young black males (aged 13–24) than any other age or racial group period. Alarmingly, the estimated rate of new HIV infections for black males is eight times as high as that of white men.

“In other words, as a young, black, homosexual male, Michael Sam is in the single highest risk category for HIV/AIDS that exist on the planet. Ole Roger Goodell and the NFL should be warning him, not glorifying him.

“Alas, the only people who truly care for Michael Sam are those who love him enough to tell him the truth about the health risks of homosexual behavior – and that sadly does not include the Roger Goodell or the NFL. They long ago sold their souls to the virulent, vitriolic bullies and bigots of big Gay. But it will be Michael Sam who pays the price for their soulless cowardice.

“Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that “homosexuality for over 200 years has been criminal in every state.” My wife and our family and the majority of Americans (87%) refuse to celebrate sexual abnormality. We find it offensive and morally objectionable and is in no way a right in the U.S. Constitution. Society does not benefit from perversion, but rather ends up in decline. Calling Homosexuality a sin is truth, not hatred or bigotry.

“You have no right to be immoral in a Christian nation where sodomy and homosexuality is against the law. Nobody believes that perversion is a human rights issue. It has never been morally unacceptable and we find it very offensive.

“Sincerely, Weldon”

You can email Weldon at God love him.


—  Steve Ramos

Gay slur painted on Michigan teen’s home

The parents of a 16-year-old boy in Michigan said they believe his classmates painted an anti-gay slur on their home, along with an arrow that points to his bedroom, WEYI-TV reported.

Melanie Peabody and her husband tried to remove the graffiti, and they’re speaking out about the incident.

“I’m mad,” Melanie said. “My son’s not safe.”

The family lives in Vienna Township, a town of about 13,000 people in the middle of Michigan. Levi Peabody attends Clio High School.

“It does hurt,” he said. “As much as I don’t want to admit it, it does hurt that someone would dislike me that much to do something to my window.

The family has installed security cameras in their bedrooms as an attempt to catch the culprits, but the also want to send a message that they won’t tolerate the attacks.

“… It’s disgusting,” Melanie said.

The Genessee County Sheriff’s Department said they’re working with school officials to identify potential suspects.

—  Steve Ramos

Are SMU students getting away with hate speech?

Students took to a social media app, using anti-gay slurs to defeat a vote that would have added an LGBT seat to the student Senate


YES H8 | Students stroll in and out of SMU’s Dallas Hall during the week before finals. Several of them talked about homophobic attacks on Yik Yak, a social media app. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
Southern Methodist University students littered a recent vote with hate speech that showed how deeply some of them despise the LGBT community. Rants appeared on Yik Yak, a social media app where people can comment anonymously, when the students were voting whether to include an LGBT seat on the student Senate.

“Homosexual isn’t a race its a fucked up way of life,” one student posted on Yik Yak. “Yeah, I’m homophobic. So what?” another student fired off. And there were more. “Fuck fags” also was among the numerous posts.

Yet, there is no firestorm of protests to match those created by another hate-generated tirade. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA on Tuesday, fined $2.5 million and is being pressured to sell his team after he was recorded making racist comments. On the SMU campus, however, the students’ anti-gay rants have barely stirred the manicured azaleas.

“To me that just shows that it’s OK to hate gay people and say anything you want about them, but you can’t say anything hateful about other groups,” said Glenda Long, who was eating lunch at a restaurant on Cedar Springs Road. “It’s just not right that people say such hateful things about us, and no one cares. But then that basketball team owner says something racist, and everyone wants his head on a platter. Where’s the concern for our community?”

One SMU student was concerned. Dillon Chapman had been documenting the anti-gay comments for weeks, and he said he noticed the number of comments increased as the vote approached. He said he stopped doing it after other students accused him of “cheapening the level of discourse.”

SMU has other minority seats that represent its African-American, Asian, Hispanic, foreign and tranfer students, but attempts to add an LGBT seat have failed repeatedly. In April, the student Senate voted 43 to 3 to create the seat, but the student body voted against changing the student constitution.

The measure’s supporters rallied and collected more than the 10 percent of student signatures needed for a revote. It failed by an even greater margin than the first vote.

Carl McClain, one of the 1,000 students who voted against creating the LGBT seat, said homophobia didn’t influence his vote. He didn’t vote in the first election because he couldn’t make up his mind, but he voted “no” in the revote because he felt students should have accepted the results of the first vote.

“Our student constitution is currently silent on the issue on re-votes, and it was through this kind of technicality that a second ballot was pushed,” McClain said. “I understand that the re-vote proposal emerged from several student senators, though LGBT-friendly organizations eventually endorsed the idea.”

When the anti-gay slurs appeared, encouraging students to vote against the measure, the university’s newspaper, The Daily Campus, devoted its editorial page to the Yik Yak controversy.

“The app is, of course, not responsible for homophobia on campus, but it has brought those sentiments to the forefront, clearly demonstrating to the university the deep-seeded hate a large number of students have against persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” the editorial board wrote. The editorial further explained that the hateful, anonymous comments that encouraged students to vote against the LGBT seat are  exactly the reason the seat is needed.

In the same issue, SMU President Gerald Turner wrote a letter, condemning the “disrespectful anonymous comments” posted on social media. He called the reports “extremely troubling” and said they violate the Student Code of Conduct.

“When students violate these values through anonymous social media comments, they are harming our community and, we believe, themselves,” Turner wrote.
Sammi Partida, a junior at SMU, says he has ideas to resolve the problem, but when he contacted Turner’s office, he was given a copy of the president’s letter.

“It was good that he was taking note, but a letter won’t cut it,” Partida said. “The newspaper is something that we can all read, feel good about, but at the end of the day, where does it end up? Discarded in a box somewhere.”


CLASSLESS | SMU students took to social media to hurl anti-gay slurs during a recent vote to add an LGBT seat to the student Senate. (Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

Partida said he’d like to see funding for the Women’s and Gender Studies program increased to allow for more events and programming. He also said sexual orientation and gender identity should be addressed to allow for more events and programming. Professors, he suggested, could address the issue for a few minutes throughout the semester, especially at times such as the LGBT Senate seat vote or when anti-LGBT incidents occur on campus.

While professors in the gender studies program probably have addressed the Yik Yak comments, Partida doesn’t believe professors at the Cox School of Business have. A lesson might be framed in terms of how unacceptable the anti-gay slurs are in a corporate setting.

“Whether it’s in the workplace, on social media or the company’s intranet sites, we do not tolerate discrimination of any sort, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity, age, race gender, ethnicity, religion or national origin,” an AT&T spokesman said. “Our social media standards for employees point out explicitly that conduct that is prohibited in the workplace (discrimination, bullying or harassment) also is prohibited in the digital space.”

Turner suggested in his letter that students who feel victimized have resources available to them, including the campus police. Partida, though, doesn’t give that any weight. He said he reported an incident to police when he felt threatened by other students who were calling him homophobic names. The police, he said, told him it didn’t warrant an investigation. Several weeks ago, it happened again, he said. Then, three students who Partida said were drunk, followed him on campus at night and called him a “faggot.” He said he didn’t bother to report it because campus police didn’t do anything the first time.

The lack of action by campus police concerns James Tate, Community Relations Consultant with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

“Situations like these are unfortunate but an everyday reality for some students,” he said. “This is why education and awareness are crucial. What we know is that many times acts of violence begin with name calling and other forms of bullying, and we should avoid a spark turning into a flame. The district attorney’s office is committed to victims of any crime, and we are here to help.”

The campus police said they do take those incidents seriously.

“We do take these kinds of reports and would refer the case to the SMU student conduct office for investigation as possible violations of the student code of conduct,” said SMU Chief of Police Richard Shafer.

So given the outrage volleyed at Sterling for his racist comments, shouldn’t people, especially LGBT people, direct a similar demand for accountability at SMU? LGBT Sports Coalition spokeswoman and editor Christina Kahrl sees a connection between Sterling’s racist remarks and the SMU students’ homophobic posts. She said the national attention Sterling’s comments attracted reflects how engaged people are with sports, but she noted that the anti-gay slurs on Yik Yak are equally offensive. However, many people don’t feel homophobic comments are relevant to them.

“This kind of backlash shows the need for their inclusion even more and shows serious concern for their safety,” Kahrl said.

Yik Yak CEO Tyler Droll and COO Brooks Buffington said in a statement that “Yik Yak is an anonymous app built to foster responsible interaction and build networks in hyper-local areas. While most of the posts and activity is positive, we make every effort to ban offensive or abusive use of the app. When an inappropriate comment is posted, we can suspend and ultimately ban users from communicating on Yik Yak.”

Yet, no SMU student was banned from Yik Yak for the anti-gay slurs. Sarah Gimbel, an SMU freshman, said she’s “very anti-Yik Yak.”

“I took it off my phone,” she said.

Some faculty members also expressed their disappointment that the students voted not to add the LGBT seat.

“This week, a large number of undergraduate students turned out to prevent the student Senate from creating an LGBT representative for the student Senate,” School of Education Dean David Chard wrote on Facebook. “If this move had been defeated by a handful of students it would be less hurtful. However over a thousand students turned out to vote; a crowd usually reserved at SMU for alcohol and dancing. This is very, very disappointing.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2014.


—  David Taffet

SMU students vote down LGBT Senate seat, post anti-gay rants


A revote on an LGBT Southern Methodist University student Senate seat failed this week.

“The results were 1,107 votes in favor and 1,025 against — meaning it lost by an even larger margin than it did last time,” Spectrum co-President Shelbi Smith said. Spectrum is the university’s LGBT student organization.

“We have been doing a social media blitz, talking to strangers, and emailing all of the supporters who signed our petition,” former Spectrum President Harvey Luna said.

After trying to pass a bill in the student Senate since 2009 to add an LGBT special interest seat, the Senate approved the measure this year for the first time and passed it overwhelmingly. That entailed a change to the student constitution, which takes a two-thirds vote of the student body.

On the initial vote, the measure failed. Students had a week to collect signatures of 10 percent of the student body to bring the issue up for a revote. Spectrum members were successful in collecting enough signatures, but they failed to convince enough students to participate and did not receive two-thirds of the vote.

An anti-gay campaign seems to have raged on YikYak, an app that allows someone to post anonymously.

Luna sent a copy of some of the comments that included statements like, “Yeah, I’m homophobic so what?” and “I hope the gay community uses yik yak because yeah we do hate you and we do want you to know it.”

Others were collected by SMU student Dillon Chapman and can be found here.

—  David Taffet