Baylor students, faculty, staff and alumni have signed on to supporting official LGBTQ groups on campus, surprising some and encouraging others.
More than 3,000 signers have added their names to an open letter calling for Baylor University to officially recognize and charter LGBTQ student groups, which the university currently does not do. Alumni Skye Perryman, Jackie Baugh Moore and Tracy Teaff wrote the letter partially in response to an on-campus appearance by Matt Walsh, a blogger critical of the gay rights movement. Unlike a separate petition that circulated, this one did not seek to cancel the April 9 event.
“Rather, we are writing because Matt Walsh’s scheduled appearance on campus, the University’s approval of the fliers advertising the event, and the official status of a group such as (Baylor Young Americans For Freedom) illustrates the fundamental unfairness of the University’s treatment of other student groups, particularly those seeking to provide community to students who identify as LGBTQ or allies,” the letter states.
Signers include prominent alumni such as Waco-based economist M. Ray Perryman and Waco bank presidents David Lacy and Bill Nesbitt, as well as former Baylor Vice President Reagan Ramsower and former U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards, D-Waco.
One group struggling for recognition is Baylor Sexual Identity Forum, which has existed since 2011 but has never attained chartered status. The student group applied for a charter most recently under the name Gamma Alpha Upsilon, after an administrator involved in the process suggested a name change.