Ban of GSA group is wrong

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Issue 19, Kristen Williams, LGBT, opinions, Opinion - By on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 02:45

It is not unheard of for private organizations to exercise their rights outside of the government’s jurisdiction. We saw it happen in 1991, when openly homosexual people were banned from membership with the Boy Scouts of America. This action caused much controversy among its members as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) sympathetic national audience. Homosexual troop leaders were shamed and outcast, and parents wondered, is this kind of barefaced homophobia a good influence on our children? Isn’t this prejudice a worse influence than the supposed “homosexual agenda” is?

Similarly, the beautiful Pepperdine University in Malibu has made recent headlines by repeatedly banning a student-run LBGT support group called “Reach OUT!” from being formed, claiming that the gay students’ stances on “sexual morality” were completely against the school’s commitment to Christian values. To be fair, the university does, technically, have the legal right to do this as a religiously-affiliated private institution. However, what is in question here is not the legality, but whether the choice of banning this group was in the best interest of all their students.

Obviously, it was not. To ban the representation of an entire demographic of its student population seems not only rude, but also downright wrong. First of all, saying that a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) group is set out to spread sexual promiscuity and pre-marital sex is blatant ignorance. By definition, a gay-straight alliance is first and foremost a support group for gay and lesbian students who feel unwelcome and rejected by their peers. It is a safe place where LGBT students can show their pride and where other heterosexual students can support them. Obviously, the administration of Pepperdine is missing the point of what GSA and other LGBT groups are about.

Second of all, isn’t this same way of “Christian” thinking also, in a way, forcing a pre-marital sexual lifestyle by not allowing homosexuals to marry? How can it be called “pre-marital sex” if you can never get married? Besides, college campuses are a breeding ground for illicit activity. If anything, sororities, fraternities and other party-laden atmospheres do more to encourage pre-marital sex than a simple, innocent GSA club, whose main purpose is to represent an underrepresented group. Stick that in your juicebox, Dean of Pepperdine.

All in all, I cannot support homophobic or prejudiced attitudes on this nation’s college campuses, no matter what the institution’s rights are as such. Civil rights should always prevail.