Students at the University of North Texas will vote next week on whether or not same-sex couples can run for homecoming court. Voting begins Monday, Nov. 16, and runs through Friday, Nov. 20.
At UNT, couples, rather than individuals, run for homecoming court. Earlier this semester, the student senate voted not to allow same-sex couples to compete. When students from the campus LGBT group GLAD protested, the senate voted 22-1 to let the student body decide the issue.
UNT graduate student Elizabeth Pax said she has been outside the student union everyday with a megaphone, fliers and flags, "just trying to talk to the student body." She is optimistic the measure will pass.
"I’ve never had such a positive response from people. In the gayborhood, I haven’t gotten as good a response talking to gay people about their own rights."
Although she said she has never aspired to become homecoming queen, she added that denying same-sex couples the right to run means gays and lesbians are not getting equal access to student-funded activities paid through student activity fees.
"What you are told is that you are less than — you are not valued. It’s devaluing my relationship by saying our relationships are not equal," Pax said.
Jacob Richert, treasurer of GLAD said the school has heard from some alumni who have threatened to pull donations if the measure passes, but the school does not rely on alumni giving for the bulk of its funding.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 13, 2009.