By: Jack MacNamara, Staff Writer

LGBT Politics — Following the disgraceful GOP legislature voting to defund the University of Tennessee LGBT Center, Alumni and LGBT groups step up to fund the university’s diversity and Inclusion office.

The Tennessee GOP legislature voted to defund the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion which would have nearly shutdown the LGBT Pride Center at the Knoxville campus.

In fact, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s chancellor has drawn backlash during a Republican-led legislative meeting for attending a fundraiser that generated $300,000 for the school’s LGBT center.

According to the Associated Press (AP), The Vol Means All group says the Feb. 1 fundraising haul is 10 percent of its $3 million endowment goal for the Pride Center. University spokeswoman Katherine Pauline Saxon says the center’s budget is currently $82,350, privately funded.

In 2016, the Republican-led legislature voted to divert almost $446,000 from the university’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, which funded the Pride Center.

On Monday Feb. 12, Republican Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said Chancellor Beverly Davenport almost took an activist role by attending the fundraiser. Davenport said she takes hundreds of fundraising trips annually, and lawmakers asked her to raise private money for the center which she was happy to attend.

Why the GOP feels the need to continue targeting the LGBT community is unknown but one thing is for sure, Americans are growing tired of this constant attacking of the LGBT community and they are making their voices heard at the ballot boxes. So far, Democrats have won 36 straight elections including state house seats. If Republicans continue on this path, they are sure to see their numbers dwindle in elections in 2018.

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