The student body president at Texas A&M University promised on Friday to veto a bill that would allow students to opt out of paying student fees that go to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender student services.
John Claybrook said in letter announcing his intention to veto published in The Eagle, “The damage must stop today. Texas A&M students represent our core value of respect exceptionally and I’m very proud of the family at this university. Now, more than ever, is the time to show great resolve and come together, treating each other like the family that we are.”
The school’s voting body passed the legislation on Wednesday with a vote of 35-28 and did not specify which services might be covered by the proposed exemption.
“Even without the wording that specified particular groups that would be affected in the final version of this bill, the sentiment towards the bill has not changed and has caused great harm to our reputation as a student body and to the students feeling disenfranchised by this bill,” Claybrook said.
It’s unclear how such a proposed bill would have worked, especially because Texas A&M already has a non-discrimination policy put into place by university officials. In February of last year, university President R. Bowen Loftin added sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the policy.
Read Claybrook’s letter, below.