Louisiana Family Forum President Gene Mills suggested Friday that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is drifting “into sexual politics” with a minor studies program the university began offering in the spring.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies, called LGBT, drew the ire of the Louisiana Family Forum last week as going against “Louisiana values.”
The organization characterizes itself as a voice for traditional families.
Mills’ comments came in an email in which he said ULL President Joseph Savoie is “fooling with fire” by allowing homosexual activists to have influence in the university’s decision making.
Mills did not name which activists he was talking about.
Neither Savoie nor a university spokesman returned three calls for comment Friday afternoon.
The email titled: “End of Week ... with Gene Mills” includes a call to action urging people to contact Savoie and a dean about eliminating the LGBT minor.
The email further claims that Savoie met with legislators recently and told them he had no knowledge of the minor until it was reported in news outlets last week.
“Thus, Dr. Savoie continues in what I have previously described as ‘plausible deniability,’ which is an effort to distance himself and his office from being responsible for the decision to offer the minor,” Mills wrote.
Mills blasted the university last week saying the minor was more advocacy than academia, a charge a UL-Lafayette dean denied last week.
But Mills returned to the same premise Friday under the email’s “One noteworthy development” subsection where he claims his organization’s outcry has caused the school to revamp the LGBT minor website on three occasions and making it “progressively less politically aggressive.”
“The website still maintains that students ‘challenge current traditions’ on sexuality and gender. Thus, the university is still unrepentant regarding their attitude of advocacy rather than academia when it comes to homosexuality and a traditional view of sex and morality,” Mills wrote.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, also criticized the minor last week for failing to provide an academic benefit to students or a worthwhile financial return to taxpayers.
Savoie hit back at the criticism last week in an online letter pointing out that LGBT-related coursework is an accepted area of study that has been offered at roughly 200 universities nationwide for nearly 50 years.
With its roots in sociology, the LGBT minor could help prepare students for careers as counselors, personnel directors, teachers, social workers, criminal justice professionals, health care providers and managers, Savoie said.
ULL College of Liberal Arts Dean Jordan Kellman pointed out that the minor was crafted out of existing classes, including human sexuality and anthropology, and does not cost taxpayers any extra money.