Paul L. Caron

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Despite BYU's Removal Of ‘Homosexual Behavior’ As Honor Code Violation, Mormon Church Affirms Ban On Student Same-Sex Dating

Following up on my previous post,  'Learning From Notre Dame And Baylor,' BYU Removes ‘Homosexual Behavior’ As Honor Code Violation:  Salt Lake Tribune, After BYU Honor Code Change, LDS Church Now Says Same-Sex Relationships Are ‘Not Compatible’ With the Faith’s Rules:

BYU (2015)Despite removing the section on “homosexual behavior” from its Honor Code last month, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clarified for the first time that same-sex romantic behavior is still “not compatible” with the rules at Brigham Young University.

The surprising announcement came Wednesday morning after weeks of questions about the change and after LGBTQ students had celebrated what they hoped that it meant. Many said they recently came out as gay only because they believed — and were told by some Honor Code staff — that the school and faith now allowed it.

“We felt like we finally had a place and then they ripped it away again,” said junior Katie Guerrero, who is bisexual.

In the afternoon, hundreds of students met in the campus quad to protest what they saw as a painful reversal by BYU. They solemnly sang church hymns and marched in a circle. One person clung to a poster that read, “Jesus said love everyone." And they chanted together, “The Honor Code is honor-less."

In his short letter Wednesday, Paul V. Johnson, a general authority Seventy and commissioner of the Church Educational System that oversees BYU’s campuses, said the Honor Code updates in mid-February led to “much discussion and some misinterpretation.” Johnson said he wanted to clarify “out of respect for all concerned.” ...

In addition to the letter, BYU also released a statement from Kevin Utt, the director of its Honor Code Office, whom many students said they had talked to directly after the change last month and who they said assured them that gay relationships would be allowed on campus.

In the response from Utt on Wednesday, he said that “any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of the principles of the Honor Code.”

Salt Lake Tribune, Some Students at BYU Might Transfer to Other Schools Over Honor Code Changes:

The school, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, clarified its prohibitive stance on gay couples Wednesday, in what many students considered a painful reversal. Students have said they were told two weeks ago by Honor Code staff that the February update had meant they could kiss, hold hands with and date a same-sex partner.

A few came out because of that, and said the latest update has made the hate and discrimination against them worse by putting targets on them. At a Thursday campus protest — the second to draw hundreds of students in two days — one counterprotester chanted, “Transfer. Transfer. Transfer.” ...

On Wednesday night, following the school’s announcement, the OUT Foundation, a BYU queer alumni group, started a fund to help those who want to leave the school. The group raised more than $7,000 in donations in the first 12 hours, and had exceeded its $10,000 goal by Thursday afternoon. It set a new goal of $20,000 and was about $2,200 away from meeting it by 9 p.m. [It has now raised almost $32,000.]

The money will be used to assist students who need it for paying for transcripts, transfer application fees and covering tuition that’s typically higher at other schools in the state.

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