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

SMU students will vote again on LGBT Senate seat


Spectrum’s Kathrina Macalanda solicits a signature from Ryan Patrick McLaughlin

Over the weekend, Southern Methodist University students collected enough signatures to get a revote on whether to add an LGBT Student Senate seat.

After the Student Senate voted in March to add the seat, the student body needed to pass the measure by a two-thirds vote. Only 53 percent voted April 3 for the amendment to the Student Constitution. To get another vote, supporters needed to collect signatures from 10 percent of the student body, which is 1,053 people.

“I am excited to report that we actually surpassed that goal,” former Spectrum President Harvey Luna said. “We collected about 1,400 signatures.”

Normally, the issue would be put to students this week, but faculty is using the website link this week for their own elections. Instead, the amendment to add the LGBT seat will be put to students next week.

“In the meantime, we are going to begin strategizing on advertising the issue on campus — tabling, flyers, buttons, etc.,” Luna said.


—  David Taffet

SMU students vote down LGBT senate seat

SMUAfter the Southern Methodist University Student Senate voted last week to approve an LGBT student senate seat, the student body voted the proposal down.

Adding a senate seat required approval by two-thirds of the voters. The election was held on Thursday, and only 53 percent of those voting were in favor of adding the seat. Of SMU’s 11,000 students, only about 2,000 voted.

“However, 53 percent is not a two-thirds majority and it does not get us representation in senate,” Shelbi Smith, vice president of SMU’s LGBT group Spectrum, said. “It does not change the everyday reality for LGBT students who are discriminated against at SMU.”

Smith called this a set-back, but explained the proposal isn’t completely dead for this semester.

“Now, we have to collect 1,100 signatures on a petition to get a re-vote,” Smith said. “We are hoping to get the signatures in time to have a re-vote before the end of the semester. Otherwise, we start from ground zero next year.”

She called the vote by the Senate “a huge victory.” In previous years, the Senate voted down the proposal, in some years by large margins. This is the first time the proposal went to students for a vote.

“This is about so much more than a senate seat,” Smith said. “This is about equality. This is about making LGBT people feel welcome and included at our great university.”

—  David Taffet

Spectrum rides the Hill Country this weekend

Spectrum members bikes’ parked on Cedar Springs.

This weekend, Spectrum Motorcycle Riders Club of Dallas will join other Texas LGBT motorcycle clubs for a Pride Ride through the Hill Country near San Antonio.

“We were honored to receive the invitation from our sister group in Houston to participate in a ride through the Texas hill country,” Spectrum-MRC President Jerry Garner said.

Spectrum will join Montrose Motorcycle Riding Club and Austin Freedom Riders.

“This event will allow Spectrum to meet with other like-minded GLBT motorcycle groups and view some beautiful Texas landscape,” said Garner.

The ride takes place Sept. 9 through 11.

Spectrum Motorcycle Riding Club is an organization for GLBT and GLBT-friendly riders. All types of motorcyclists and their passengers are welcome, as well as those who have an interest in learning to ride. The group was founded in 2004 and received not-for-profit status this July. Garner said that this would allow the group to raise money to support the LGBT community.

Spectrum will be the lead entry for the 2011 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sept. 18. Riding with Spectrum will be Neil Patel from Logo’s new show, The A List: Dallas.

For more info, email

—  David Taffet

Maryland panel advances marriage bill

Sam Arora

After three days of drama, a Maryland House committee has finally advanced a marriage equality bill, voting 12-10 to send it to the floor.

Democratic Del. Tiffany T. Alston, once a co-sponsor of the bill, voted against it after attempting to amend it to establish civil unions instead of same-sex marriage. However, Democratic Del. Sam Arora, who’s also wavered in his support for the bill in recent days, voted for it and issued a statement saying he will also do so again on the House floor.

“I have heard from constituents, friends, and advocates from across the spectrum of views and have thought about the issue of same-sex marriage extensively,” Arora said in a statement before the committee vote. “I understand their concern—this is a very serious issue, and one that many people feel passionately about. As the vote drew nearer, I wrestled with this issue in a way I never had before, which led me to realize that I had some concerns about the bill. While I personally believe that Maryland should extend civil rights to same-sex couples through civil unions, I have come to the conclusion that this issue has such impact on the people of Maryland that they should have a direct say. I will vote to send the bill to the floor because it deserves an up-or-down vote. On the floor, I will vote to send the bill to the governor so that Marylanders can ultimately decide this issue at the polls. I think that is appropriate.”

—  John Wright

Video: Rick Santorum vs. full spectrum of our natural world

Since leaving the Senate, Rick Santorum has made a name for himself on the anti-equality speaking circuit. Here he is with Kevin Smith, head of New Hampshire’s chief anti-gay marriage lobby group, and with Maggie Gallagher, the nation’s most prominent voice on the opposition side:

Screen Shot 2011-01-19 At 4.13.06 Pm

Cornerstone POlicy Research’s 10th Anniv. dinner [Picasa]

So what kind of comments are earning the former U.S. Senator these bookings of political import? Well, ones that paint gays and their families as downright “unnatural,” natch:


Ya know, it’s one thing to take on marriage policy. But gunning for the very cores of gay existences by painting us as unnatural and our families as invalid? That’s beyond the pale. And it’s an albatross that’s ultimately gonna drag down the carefully code-worded marriage movement that folks like Gallagher (Maggie, not the prop comedian) have been so strategically crafting for the past decade or so.

Good As You

—  admin