Last edited: January 01, 2005

University of Texas-Austin Student Body Condemns Texas Sodomy Law

Student Government Resolution AR 20 Passes by Landslide Vote

GLBTA Affairs Agency, January 15, 2003
University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX—Student Government at the University of Texas at Austin today announced that AR 20, Calling for the State of Texas to Repeal the ‘Homosexual Conduct’ Law (Section 21.06), passed at the January 14 assembly meeting with a 33 to 1 vote. Now that the measure has passed it will be hand-delivered to each legislator in the Texas capitol and will also be forwarded to President Bush, who openly supports the law.

Bobby Apperson, director of the GLBTA in Student Government, drafted the resolution in hopes that Texas lawmakers would consider the issue as they reconvene for the 78th session. The resolution calls for the legislature to repeal Section 21.06 on grounds that the law is unconstitutional and discriminatory. In addition it denounces the use of the sodomy law as means of discriminating against Texans in any aspect of life, including but not limited to housing, health care, public education, sex education, and employment.

At the assembly meeting Tuesday night chief concerns were over the provision calling for the UT Medical Branch in Galveston, which treats roughly 80% of Texas inmates, to begin issuing condoms and dental dams to inmates who request them and instruct them in their proper use. From 1991 to 2001 AIDS was the number one cause of death in Texas prisons, and current prison policy states that prison officials cannot distribute condoms and give the appearance of encouraging inmates to break the law. Studies show that Texas inmates are being released with a strain of HIV that is often drug-resistant and that infection rates in prison are five times that of the general population.

The final statement of the resolution calls for the UT-Austin administration, faculty and staff to continue to refrain from using Section 21.06 to discriminate against students and other faculty and staff who have not been convicted under the sodomy law.

Chris Vaca, Two-Year At-Large SG representative, spoke to the assembly about how Section 21.06 adversely affects the student body at UT. He said five prospective professors who were interested in employment at the university contacted him during the fall 2002 semester. After Vaca informed them that the university does not offer domestic partner benefits due in part to some state legislators’ objections to giving benefits packages to "criminals", the professors quickly pursued teaching positions elsewhere.

"This is a civil rights issue," said Apperson Tuesday night regarding the use of the law to openly discriminate against gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender Texans. "This law makes millions of people second-class citizens."

The full text of AR 20 is available online at

Contact: Bobby Apperson, GLBTA Affairs Agency Director, (e-mail)

# # #

[Home] [News] [Texas]