PROVO, Utah (AP) — Students at Brigham Young University illuminated the letter “Y” on a mountain overlooking the Provo campus Thursday with rainbow colors in a display intended to send a message to the religious school.
The light display on the concrete letter ended “Color the Campus,” an event held where students wore rainbow colors in support of the campus LGBTQ community, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The event came a year after the school, alongside its owners The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sent a letter in March 2020 saying that “same-sex romantic behavior was prohibited and would result in disciplinary action under the school code.
In February 2020, BYU removed the words “homosexual behavior” from the school’s honor code, causing confusion among LGBTQ students about what is and isn’t allowed. The code prohibited sexual activity outside of marriage, but same-sex couples have publicly welcomed the code change and shared photos of themselves holding hands and kissing their partners.
A month later, church leaders clarified the change in a statement saying any “gay romance” was a violation of the school’s honor code.
“Color The Campus” organizer Bradley Talbot previously said LGBTQ students continued to face challenges a year later.
“It was traumatic. So it was a day for us to take that back and try to turn it into something positive,” he told The Tribune. this institution. We should have a place in the Y.
About 40 students participated in lighting the 380-foot (115-meter) tall “Y”, holding multicolored flashlights for an hour on the concrete, officials said. The “Y” has white lights fitted to it, which the school traditionally turns on for special events, such as Homecoming.
“BYU has not authorized the lighting of the Y tonight,” the university said in a post on Twitter. He also said that “any form of public expression on university property requires prior approval”.
In response to the campaign, photos were shared online encouraging people to carry umbrellas on campus as a counter-protest. The flyers included the word “FamProc,” a reference to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” which is a statement that defines the position of leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on marriage and gender roles.
The university previously said the flyers were not university-approved and would be removed.
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