Brigham Young University (BYU) administrators have pointed out that “same-sex romantic behavior” is not allowed on campus after changes to the honor code caused confusion.
Mormon University belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). It is traditionally one of the most conservative branches of Christianity, but would have worked modernize its teaching.
In a letter addressed to those affiliated with the Church of Faith’s educational system, Commissioner Elder Paul V. Johnson confirmed that same-sex romantic behavior is still prohibited in the school’s code of conduct, citing that according to Mormon belief , it cannot lead to eternal marriage, a key tenant in the LDS faith.
“A fundamental doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that ‘marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children,'” Johnson said.
The move comes after the school revised the aforementioned code of conduct to remove homosexuality from its abstinence list, according to previous reports. Many LGBTQ+ activists and church members saw it as a victory for their civil rights.
Faith’s abstinence list also includes caffeine-like substances, such as coffee, some teas, as well as alcohol. He further prohibits tattoos and piercings to promote modesty among his followers.
These changes, while historic, would only remove the application of the rule, with AP noting that BYU would deal with LGTBQ+ relationships “on a case-by-case basis.”
The February 19 code of conduct review raised many questions, which BYU Honor Code Director Kevin Utt answered by post a Q&A on the school website. This implies that public displays of affection between gay or lesbian couples on campus are still not permitted.
Utt clarifies, however, that the honor code tenant “Encouraging others in his community to comply with the honor code” does not give students permission to degrade a fellow student based on their sexual preference, nor “synonymously” to report their behavior. .
According to the Q&A, the church and school emphasize that “any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of honor code principles.”
I went out publicly for two weeks as a queer thinking BYU was slowly becoming a safe space, but BYU has proven once again that safety for its students of any minority is not a priority. When will they learn to empathize instead of ordinary hurt? How can they claim to be like Christ?
— comrade k8 icy (@Kate_Foster14) March 4, 2020
Reactions from members of the LGBTQ+ community and the LDS Church largely reflected feelings of being hurt and further marginalized.
Speaking to AP, Nathan Cazmersen, a student at BYU, said he opposed the changes as contrary to the behavior the church intends to promote.
“I feel like it reinforces the homophobic rhetoric on campus,” Cazmersen told reporters.