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    Posted April 4, 2013 by
    College Station, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Same-sex marriage hearings: Your thoughts

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    Texas A&M Student Senate Passes Discriminatory LGBT Bill


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     The student senate at Texas A&M University passed a measure on April 3 to allow students of the university to opt out of having their activities fees fund the campus' LGBT resource center. The bill, known as the "Religious Funding Exemption Bill," allows students to have their money directed elsewhere because of personal or religious beliefs.

    The Eagle, a publication in Bryan-College Station, Texas, reports that emotions ran high during the voting and the students who were present for the hearing, mainly opposed to the measure, crammed into the senate chamber to voice their opinions.

    Student and iReporter Brittany Newell claims that the bill unfairly targets the LGBT community on campus. 'We have tried everything to try and have our voices heard, but we are very obviously outnumbered,' she wrote in an email to CNN iReport. 'We're trying to get this story out … because we know we can't do it alone.'

    CNN reached out to the university for a comment and is waiting to hear back.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    After three hours of open forum, testimonies from the student body, and debates among the senators, the TAMU student senate has passed a revised version of SB 65-70, which was originally drafted to allow university students to opt-out of the university fee that funds the GLBT resource center. The revised edition would allow students to opt-out of any fees for any religious reasons. However, when listing the student fees eligible for opt-out, the only fee that the legislators who drafted the bill could name was the fee that funds the GLBT resource center. As the 7th least LGBT-friendly campus in the US, according to the Princeton Review, this comes as a surprise to no-one in the A&M LGBT community, but should come as a surprise to the rest of the state of Texas and to the rest of the nation. As we are significantly outnumbered, we are asking for your help to bring this to the forefront of national attention.

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