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October 25 , 2004
LGBT seeking support to defeat marriage amendment
BY Eric Rangus
At the latest meeting of the President’s Commission on the LGBT Concerns, on Tuesday, Oct. 19th, in 400 Administration, members discussed the Emory LGBT community’s efforts to educate the campus on the consequences of the proposed constitutional amendment to recognize marriage in Georgia as a union only between a man and a woman.
A panel discussion on same-sex marriage and Amendment 1 will be held in room 1D of Gambrell Hall on Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. One of the panelists will be ex officio commission member Saralyn Chesnut, director of the Office of LGBT Life. Also mentioned was the speech by state Rep. Karla Drenner on the steps of Candler Library, Oct. 11. Drenner is the only openly gay member of the Georgia Legislature. Members encouraged each other to engage in grassroots efforts such as hanging flyers both on and off campus.
Chair Cathi Wentworth said she sent a letter earlier this month to several administrators asking them to support the commission in its efforts to defeat the amendment. Wentworth said Sharon Strocchia, president of the University Senate and one of the people receiving the letter, invited her to speak at the next Senate meeting, Oct. 26.
In other business, the commission will promote its November meeting as open to the campus. All president’s commissions’ meetings are open to the Emory community although this is not always advertised. LGBT’s annual meeting at Oxford, for instance, is open and visitors are common, while meetings on the Atlanta campus are rarely attended by the wider community.
Not only will the November LGBT meeting be publicized on the Emory web, but Wentworth said she will personally invite leaders from other campus LGBT groups such as Emory Pride and Sacred Worth.
Regarding administrative issues, the commission unanimously voted to amend its bylaws—primarily regarding its structure, term limitations and attendance requirements. Treasurer Rebeca Quintana distributed a draft budget plan. This is the first year the commission has worked from a formal budget, and a proposal was made that funding processes be guided by seven budget categories. Also included was the average money spent in each category over the last three years. Members agreed to review the material.
In other discussion, members expressed concern about the lack of knowledge across campus about transgender issues. Simply choosing which restroom to use in an on-campus residence hall can be an issue, said Andy Wilson of Campus Life. The next LGBT meeting will be held Nov. 16 at 5:15 p.m. in 400 Administration.
If you have a question or comment for LGBT, e-mail Wentworth at firstname.lastname@example.org.