Lariat Letters: Amendment Holds Universities Accountable

An April 28 Lariat editorial expressed a dim view of Amendment 143 to the Texas House appropriations bill, introduced by Rep. Wayne Christian. The amendment required university administrators to fund Traditional Values Centers at a cost no lesser than whatever amount is to be funneled to GLBT advocacy centers for the coming fiscal year. Sidestepping the debate over whether Texans should even be footing the bill for state-sponsored GLBT advocacy, Lariat editors condemned Young Conservatives’ of Texas support of equal funding for traditional values as too costly, and “childish.”

Unfortunately, the editorial is factually incorrect to suppose that Rep. Christian’s amendment would require increased spending of taxpayer funds. The text of the amendment simply introduces a new spending control: whatever amount public university administrators grant to GLBT Advocacy Centers must be no greater than what is afforded to a corresponding Traditional Values Center. Universities seeking to get more money out of Rep. Christian’s amendment are simply going to be disappointed.

That’s not to say the fiscal question is irrelevant. The Lariat editorial was correct to sound the alarm on what should count as fiscally responsible, but one needn’t wait until it’s a socially conservative viewpoint that’s about to get subsidized before raising objections.It’s YCT’s position that sexual advocacy groups should rely on private sources of funding for their activity, leaving Texans to cover only those costs which are vital to running an institution of higher learning. Until that happens, state institutions inherit a moral obligation to viewpoint neutrality once they get in the business of sponsoring special advocacy groups. Rep. Christian’s amendment addresses a long-standing disparity of financial subsidy, and offers Texans an occasion to consider once more whether their public universities have been spending their limited resources wisely.

— Daniel Cervera
Junior, Philosophy,
Baylor chapter chairman, Young Conservatives of Texas