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Brigham Young University Reinstates Ban on Homosexual Behavior

March 31st, 2020

Brigham Young University recently announced that homosexual behavior was no longer banned at the school, before the Mormon Church immediately backtracked.
Brigham Young University recently announced that homosexual behavior was no longer banned at the school, before the Mormon Church immediately backtracked.

Utah’s Brigham Young University recently backtracked and announced that “homosexual behavior” was still banned at the school. This announcement came just two weeks after the school appeared to remove a ban on homosexual behavior. Consequently, LGBTQ students at the Mormon-owned university have found themselves in a difficult position.

The School’s Original Honor Code Change on Homosexual Behavior

The school’s 31,000 students had previously been informed on February 19th that they could no longer be punished for engaging in homosexual behavior such as dating or public displays of affection, so long as they refrained from sex outside of heterosexual marriage. The university’s honor code office also confirmed fellow students and church leaders could no longer report on alleged homosexual behavior, and that violations of the honor code would now be self-reported.

This policy change led to celebration and feelings of acceptance among the school’s LGBTQ community, thinking they were finally allowed to date, show affection in public, and no longer worry about others reporting their behavior. It removed a lot of the fear and stigma around homosexual behavior on campus since students no longer felt they might be punished if found out.

The University’s History with the LGBTQ Community

Brigham Young University has progressed through various approaches toward homosexual behavior over the years, including electroshock “conversion therapy” in the 1960s, gay activism in the 1970s, and the establishment of the school’s first LGBTQ organizations in 2007. As its policies have evolved, Brigham Young University has struggled with how to treat LGBTQ students.

The two-week period between the school changing its honor code and officials issuing clarification likely signify that administrators at the school and Church elders are at odds about the guidelines. As a result, days after celebrating the end of the school’s prohibition on LGBTQ relationships, students are now forced to comply with the updated regulation

The Mormon Church’s Clarification

The March 4th clarification by the Commissioner of the Church Educational System for the Mormon Church reiterates that homosexual behavior of any kind is incompatible with the school’s honor code. “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code,” according to the statement put out by the Church. The letter further implies that there is more to following the Church’s teachings than just refraining from sex outside of heterosexual marriage, and that lasting joy can only come from following the spirit as well as the letter of the law

Response to the Re-instated Ban

There has been mixed response to the Church’s clarification that the ban on homosexual behavior remains. A debate is currently raging between members of the university who want more liberal LGBTQ policies and those people who believe that the Church of Latter-Day Saints should announce an even stricter stance on these issues. One study performed by Pew Research Center found that 36% of church members say that society should accept homosexuality.

A spokesperson for the university has commented that the Church’s clarification will enable administrators to better respond to student questions. There has, however, been various negative responses to the announcement. More than 100 students filled a sidewalk outside of the university’s center to protest the change. Several LGBTQ students also reported experiencing anxiety and suicidal thoughts after the announcement. Many people have even asked faculty members for letters of recommendation to transfer out of the university

Continue Reading the Universal Life Church’s Blog

In the last decade, there have been various advancements as well as setbacks regarding LGBTQ rights in this country. Each month, various cases test the boundaries of these relationships. By reading the Universal Life Church’s blog, you can remain up to date with these developments. We focus on documenting matters in a way that examines both sides

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