Cal State Fullerton Launches Queer Studies Minor; Conservatives Troubled

With the launch of Cal State Fullerton’s Queer Studies minor this fall, conservatives are beginning to worry about the effects LGBT education will have on public school students.

Making it the fourth Cal State to adopt the minor, CSU-Fullerton approved the program in spring 2011 for the 2011-2012 school year, hoping to not only educate students on the changing norms of sexuality and gender, but to also acknowledge those in the LGBT community.

College of Arts Associate Dean John Taulli told the Orange County Register that the minor validated and empowered members of the LGBT community on campus because they were able to see themselves reflected in the university’s curriculum.

Courses like “The Psychological Study of LGB Experiences,” “Sexual Orientation and American Culture” and “Philosophical Approaches to Race, Class and Gender” were among some of the classes being offered.

Professors and administrators believe that the implementation of the minor would serve to reflect society’s changing attitude toward the LGBT community.

“People have become so much better informed about the situation with gays and lesbians in our society,” John Ibson, an American Studies professor at the university, told the Register. “I’m happy to see the university live up to its mission as a place that is in favor of tolerance and freedom of thought and inquiry.”

But Christian conservatives are not so sure the minor would increase tolerance and freedom of thought.

“The university is empowering [the LGBT community] by allowing and promoting their point of view,” Forrest Turpin of Christian Educators Association International told OneNewsNow. “What they’re not doing is empowering students who have a different viewpoint and would like to have their perspective in the marketplace of thought and discussions.”

Turpin feared that the program would eventually become a requirement for all schools, taking a similar route as the recent bill signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown requiring schools to now teach lessons about gays and lesbians in their social studies curriculum.

“I just would be afraid that it’s a beginning. They always start with step number one and continue down the line.”

Michael Brown, author of A Queer Thing Happened to America, found both the adoption of the Queer minor and the governor’s recent California legislation disconcerting as well.

“I think it’s a totally wrong course of action [for schools], helping to undo gender distinctions, or as others have argued, to blend gender or end gender or bend gender. This is anything but healthy and helpful,” he explained to The Christian Post via email.

Supporters of the growing LGBT school programs touted that the proposed education would not only teach the public about changing societal norms but also promote understanding within the community. The education, supporters said, would help curb discrimination and hate crimes against gays and lesbians, thereby reducing suicide rates as well, which are on the rise among LGBT youth.

But Brown stated that students could be taught bullying is bad without teaching that gay is good.

“Our schools do not need to nurture homosexuality (or transgenderism); they need to discourage bullying and cruelty,” he further explained in an article he wrote on Townhall Conservative. “We must teach our children that bullying is always wrong, and there must be penalties for wrong behavior.”

“As for reducing suicide rates, that’s just a pretense for introducing the curriculum. Suicides primarily come about because of underlying psychological issues, yet by celebrating queerness, these underlying problems will be overlooked and ignored.”

Americans need to wake up to what is happening around them, he warned.

“For years now, I have been telling the church that ‘queer’ has been totally mainstreamed, yet when I went to publish my book A Queer Thing Happened to America, Christian and non-Christian publishers all told me that the world ‘queer’ was too inflammatory. Hardly!”

“‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ is old news now. Books like Queering Elementary Education are old news. Queer study programs in our colleges and universities are increasingly common. There’s even a Queer Bible Commentary.”

Christians need to “awaken” and resist the gay activist agenda that is seeking to take hold all throughout the nation, Brown said, starting in schools.

“We’re called to ... expose darkness and to be a moral conscience and moral preservative,” he previously shared at a conference. “If we’re not shining the light, if we’re not making a difference ... how’s the world going to have a moral conscience and know the difference between right and wrong?”

Though there is a need to speak out and take a stand, he hopes that it would be done in love and compassion, not out of anger, hate or spite, bringing understanding without sacrificing truth.

“We must take a stand for righteousness in our society.”