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Gay LSU students celebrating graduation with public funds

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Posted: May 9, 2013 10:34 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: May 9, 2013 10:34 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Lavender Graduation Ceremony, LSU, Louisiana State University, Louisiana, university, gay students, funding, state money, taxpayer, tax, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning community, LGBTQ, lavender stoles, ceremony

BATON ROUGE - It's called the Lavender Graduation Ceremony and who gets the bill is rubbing some the wrong way.

This year, LSU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning community is flashing pride with lavender stoles and a ceremony. But there's push back because their ceremony is separate and getting funded by the university.

"They don't have a straight ceremony," LSU sophomore Jake Roblez said.

"That's just as bad as separating whites from blacks," LSU sophomore Tiffani Frizzell said. "I don't think there's any need to do that."

The Multicultural Affairs office is extending this ceremony to graduating gay students, their friends and families. So far about twenty replied and it'll cost nearly five hundred dollars, which is not much compared to the overall LSU budget.

"They will not be getting a diploma it's just our way to give them a stole," Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs Ronda Williams said. The ceremony is not a separate graduation but a celebration, she said.

She believes it's not dividing but showcasing gay students' accomplishments.

Williams also compared the lavender graduation to the African American robing ceremony, which the university has funded for more than fifteen years.

"We're a university. We're a community and we're one. So we don't always pay for things that we utilize but it's going to help your overall cultural competence and it's going to be able to help you perform in the real world because in the real world we're not going to interact with people who are just like us," she said.

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