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ULL gay studies minor under fire

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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP)  The head of a prominent conservative Christian group in Louisiana is critical of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for offering a new lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies minor.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/NmEtJy) that the area of study was first offered in the spring. The university offers the coursework as a minor and not as a degree program, which would require approval from the state Board of Regents.

Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills said the coursework is not in line with what a public college should be offering. “It doesn’t reflect Louisiana values,” Mills said.

“They need to explain how it meets academic guidelines,” Mills said. “Especially because you have taxpayers paying for it.”

U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., also is urging the university to drop the minor, saying it doesn’t provide an academic benefit to students or a worthwhile financial return to taxpayers.

“Every time I read the paper, you see people in higher education complaining about budget cuts,” Landry said. “We should be allocating our time, energy and resources to increasing the earning capacity of our students to become more competitive in the job market.”ULL President Joseph Savoie argued in an online letter that LGBT-related coursework is an accepted area of study that has been offered at roughly 200 universities nationwide for nearly 50 years.

“Rooted in sociology, studies of human subgroups help prepare students for careers, such as counselors, personnel directors, teachers, social workers, criminal justice professionals, health care providers, managers and those involved in pastoral care,” Savoie wrote.

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