About Us

LGBTQ Students in Student Center

Purpose

Spectrum is committed to bringing together students of all sexes, genders, religions, ethnicities, races, and sexual orientations to affirm equality between people and work toward the full political and social enfranchisement of LGBTQ+ individuals. We recognize the need to support and preserve the integrity of human rights for all and to cultivate action and alliances that will exemplify these ideals. Spectrum will work toward these ends by providing social events where all students are welcome and empowering student voices through education outreach, awareness raising, service projects, and direct political action.

History

Our club was first recognized by the university on December 18, 1991 under the Office of Student Activities. Filing under the name GLSA-- Gay & Lesbian Student Association-- the following Spring term in April of 1992, the group took a van to Washington D.C. to be a part of the March on Washington for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Equal Rights. Then, in the Winter quarter of 1993, the club’s name was changed to GLBA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance) to include the bisexual community. It was changed to the ASD (Alliance for Sexual Diversity) in February 1998 after the lawsuit with the university and the State Attorney General's office took place in April of 1997. The name was then changed to GLBTA  (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance) to include transgender identity in January of 2006.

In Spring 2007, we divided into two groups: GLBTA and GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance). Two years later, in 2009, the GSA changed their name to Q & A (Queers and Allies). Then, in the Spring of 2011, GLBTA and Q & A merged and redesigned the purpose of the clubs, forming Spectrum and Unity. Each club would function under different fundamental ideas: the idea of activism (Spectrum) and community support (Unity).

The club historically joined Spring Hill College P.R.I.D.E. and other groups in the Mobile area in putting on an LGBT second chance prom, which was started in Spring 2011.

In March of 2011, Allies Unlimited was organized to represent an allies’ support unit for the clubs. It later dissolved due to lack of involvement.

ΔΛΦ Delta Lambda Phi

In October 2000, Delta Lambda Phi (Beta Beta Chapter) was the first progressive gay and bisexual male fraternity at the University of South Alabama. The fraternity did not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. South’s chapter was started by 5 students at USA, and in 2002, the fraternity was opened to other campuses in the Mobile area as a multi-campus fraternity. It continued until Fall 2005, when a lack of interest in membership closed the fraternity.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Alliance v. Sessions 1996 - Alabama Sodomy Law

Alabama’s sodomy law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2003, as a result of the Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, No. 02-102 (U.S. June 26, 2003). Previously, Alabama’s sodomy law applied to both heterosexual and same-sex partners: ALA. CODE § 13A-6-63 (2001); § 13A-6-64 (2001). Although the sodomy law did not apply to acts by consenting adults in private, homosexual conduct was criminalized under the sexual misconduct law. In the 2002 Alabama Supreme Court case Ex parte H.H., the sodomy law was used by the court to deny a lesbian mother custody of her children, despite the holding of the intermediate court that the father verbally, emotionally, and physically abused the children. In the landmark 1996 case Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Alliance v. Sessions, an Alabama college (University of South Alabama) attempted to use the sodomy law to deny funding to a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender student group (GLBA) at a state college (University of South Alabama). The court determined that the law violated the First Amendment. ALA. CODE § 13A-6-65(a)(3) (2001).