Apr 042006
Authors: Emily Lance Rocky Mountain Collegian

Marilyn Musgrave, marriage and money were among the issues debated during Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Days (T’BGLAD) business panel on Tuesday night. The panelists spoke on the topics of domestic partnerships, political activism and religious conflict, to 11 listeners in the Lory Student Center.

The new implementation of a business panel during T’BGLAD is a goal to get past religion and branch out, said Gabe Case, chair of the Student Organization for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgendered (SOGLBT).

“This is important because it concentrates on GLBT communication,” said Case, a sophomore interior design major.

Morris Price, chair of the GLBT Commission, was among the panelists. He instructed students to be wise, political activists on behalf of the local GLBT community.

“Small means and acceptable defeats,” Price said.

Speakers also included Kendra-Sue Derby, campaign manager for Coloradans for fairness and equality, Mark Ferrandino, representative for Colorado Stonewall Democrats, and Alex Sanchez, co-chair for the GLBT Commission. Each described their part in the GLBT movement and opened the floor to questions.

Camden Yehle, a senior mechanical engineering major, inquired about the absence of funding to the GLBT office on campus.

“We try really hard not to be political but women’s organizations can get money,” said Yehle, a member of the GLBT community.

By state law the university cannot sponsor religious, political or sexual orientation groups, Sanchez said.

Questions quickly rose to civil liberties topics and the implications of gay marriage.

“Marriage has so much political capital because the word ‘marriage’ has a religious background,” Ferrandino said.

Speakers concluded with encouragement toward political activism in the local context, that even radical protests for gay marriage are essential for getting to middle ground.

They encouraged GLBT members to get to know the other side of the spectrum, and said the best ways of getting commitments from legislature is knowing someone with a different sexual orientation.

“Once people understand that every gay man is not a pedophile and cannot be trusted with children, it will be easier to pass domestic partnerships,” Derby said.

Emily Lance can be reached at campus@collegian.com

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