The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 23, 1989, Page 5, Image 5

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Floodgate opens for COLAGE dispute
Student complains:
Denial is unfair
The denial of funding for the Com
mittee Offering Lesbian and Gay
Events was a terrible injustice that
should be corrected. Gay and lesbian
students pay student fees like the rest
of us, and they contribute just as
much to the university.
Funding has been provided for other
minority groups, so why has COLAGE
been left out? This is just another case
of unwarranted discrimination on the
part of both the Association of Stu
dents of the University of Nebraska
and university students.
Andrew Meyer
Student calls denial
modern-day bigotry
When I watch old films of the
Civil Rights Movement and see an
gry white faces yelling “Niggers, go
home,” I wonder what these people
tell their children when they see the
same scenes. Do they say “I was a
fool,” or “Well, we tried to keep
them out, but the law was against
Similarly, what will our ASUN
senators say to their children about
their anti-gay stance? Surely in an
other 10 years, most Americans will
realize that hatred of homosexuals is
illogical and immoral. The bigotry
shown by the recent denial of funds
for COLAGE will be difficult to
understand in the 21st century.
Arnold Grinvalds
graduate student
Sexual practices
not the real issue
Sodomy: 1. Anal or oral copula
tion with a member of the opposite
sex. 2. Copulation with a member of
the same sex. 3. Beastiality.
•• Random House Dictionary, 2nd
Edition, 1988
When I read Sieve Thomlison’s
rebutlal to the Daily Nebraskan edito
rial (Daily Nebraskan, Feb. 16 and
17), I was amused and very indignant.
Amused at Thomlison’s ignorance,
and indignant to the fact that emo
tional and internal needs of a class of
people has been relegated to a “sex
ual practice.”
However, Thomlison has gotten a
great deal of attention, and that could
be what he wanted.
If 1 might direct the reader's eyes
once again to the 1988 Random House
definition of sodomy, you can plainly
see that the first definition listed per
tains to heterosexuals. Do they not
list definitions according to impor
tance? It’s time for all of us to wake
up and smell the coffee. We need to
take the issue of homosexuality out of
the bedroom. Thomlison! Take off
your judges’ robes. You’re denounc
ing a class of people whose “sexual
practices” arc no different than your
What is different, however, is the
deep-seeded need that all people have
to be loved and accepted for who they
are. Free to love and enjoy whomever
they choose, whenever they choose
and however they choose as long as
the object of their affections returns
the same.
People fear what they don’t under
stand. Fear causes people to do things
they would not normally do. The way
to overcome fear is to go through it,
not hide behind it. It’s fear of hetero
sexual repercussion that keeps gay
and lesbian students from attending
the events scheduled for them on
The Committee Offering Lesbian
and Gay Events is trying to aid people
with their fear. What if all people who
were left-handed feared for their safety
and lived in anonymity. You’d lecl
pretty stupid if you found out your
friend was afraid to let you know he
was left-handed because you might
reject him. Does being left-handed
make him less human? By all means,
let’s take some of his rights away. He
isn’t “normal’’ because he isn’t part
of the majority. Pretty stupid, huh?
What we need to realize is that
homosexuality is not simply a sexual
act. Focus your minds above the belt
and let them rest in the area of the
Most of my gay and lesbian friends
cherish the relationship they have w ith
their God. Are any of you in a posi
tion to take that relationship away
from them?
Remember, if it is the “sexual
practice” of homosexuality that makes
it immoral and illegal, then that same
“sexual practice’’ is just as immoral
and illegal for the heterosexuals who
enjoy the same “sexual practices.”
And Thomlison, “As followers of
a divine leader we can all appreciate
that there are certain intrinsic laws
that arc passed down to us from the
deity and we should take those com
mands into account with each and
every decision that we make.”
Remember that the next time you
get drunk and drive, or have sex with
your girlfriend.
Patli Lutter
staff sec. II
Petersen’s letter
blasted by reader
I am sick and tired of the reasoning
behind the denial of funding for the
Committee Offering Lesbian andGay
Events. You would think that we have
regressed back to the Dark Ages.
One of our AS UN senators finds it
necessary to mention the Bible’s dis
cussion on sodomy as the reason the
group should not get funding because
it is immoral. And then AS UN Sen.
Steve Thomlison tried to redeem
himself by saying that all deities
basically maintain that point and that
he did not mean to offend anyone.
What about the fact that all deities
basically believe that all people should
live together and learn about other
I know I was offended and I have
talked to other people who were also.
Where did Thomlison think he was at
- the kitchen table talking with mom
and dad about the facts of life? As a
senator in our student government he
is a representative of the student body,
the whole studenl body, and therefore
should act as such. Thomlison was
not alone in this and I feel some other
members of the Association of Stu
dents of the University of Nebraska
acted irresponsibly in supporting such
I thought AS UN President Jeff
Petersen would sec much of the per
sonal bias in the decision, he however
did not. He did write a very nice,
ambiguous letter that really did not
get the point about why COLAGE
was not funded. He had five points
that all could be argued the other way
so I thought I would present you with
what I found.
Point 1: Denial of funding does not
constitute discrimination. Well, it does
when all organizations arc not judged
on the same standards. I have a feel
ing that when all organizations were
put through what COLAGE was put
through there would be a lot of less
funded organizations. If students were
allowed to vote I believe a lot of them
would feel not all of the funded or
ganizations should be funded. Did
other groups have to cite Bible mes
sages to prove their morality? I think
Point 2: Sexual preference docs
not mean a cultural minority. I looked
it up and this is what I found. As
defined by Bassis, Gellcs and Levine
(1984), using either sociological or
legislative criteria for minority status,
homosexuals, homosexuals would
clearly qualify as a minority group.
They go on to state the standards the
U.S. Supreme Court uses to grant
minority status: The group in ques
tion is politically powerless, has ex
perienced a history of discrimination,
has a high degree of visibility and has
traits that arc immutable.
Homosexuals meet the first two
points with ease. And as Petersen
argued, you cannot necessarily tell a
person is gay by sight, but then you
cannot tell a person is Jewish by sight
either. And for the most part, psy
chologists support the reasoning that
homosexuality is an innate tendency
— an opinion I would trust more than
Petersen further argues that if
homosexuals are a minority, then why
aren’t they classified under die Ameri
can Minority Council instead of Uni
versity Program Council-City. He gives
some attendance figures for COLAGE
programs, and slates that a small
number of students actually use
COLAGE programming. I’ve been to
some university-funded programs with
less than 10 people in attendance.
Point 3: If COLAGE docs not re
ceive funding, a dangerous precedent
may be set allowing personal and
religious preierciiccs ucicgaic wiiu is
and who is not worthy of funding.
Other groups who may argue that a
certain religion is part of their innate
self would also have to prove to the
extent that COL AGE did, that it is not
their upbringing that gave them the
beliefs it did.
Many homosexuals do not want to
be gay, and their parents certainly did
not want them to be gay. But they are
regardless of those facts. They could
live their lives as people would ex
pect them to or, they can come to
terms with themselves and live as
they really arc.
Point 4: It may be in violation of
the NU Board of Regents policy. The
policy he cited was on the issue of
presenting speaker programs on
Petersen then further developed this
argument by saying that most of the
events would be one-sided and deal
with homosexuals violating the pol
icy by promoting on philosophy or set
of ideals. COLAGE has offered a
variety of programs that would con
tradict that argument. What about “My
Friend Is Gay and I Don’t Under
stand” and “Homosexuality and
Religion,” just to name a few.
And don’t other organizations
promote their own history and culture
as well? I haven’t seen Black Special
Events calling the Ku Klux Klan to
come in to discuss a different view
point, and I don’t think anyone would
want or expect them to.
Point 5: His last point is that a
majority of the student body does not
want COLAGE to be funded. Some
times someone has to make a stand
and look deeper to sec whal is right.
Only a few years ago most of the
nation agreed that blacks should go to
separate schools, did this make it right?
I think Petersen should have taken
advantage of the situation and used
his leadership to help people sec that
just because a person is different it
does not mean they are necessarily
immoral or wrong.
I hope this letter has provided a
different viewpoint that the one pro
vided by Petersen, and that COLAGE
is judged on its merits as an organiza
tion, not the religious and moral pref
erences of the greater society.
Michele Bang
middle school education
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Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R
St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
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