Brigham Young University removed its harsh stance on gay rights within its confides, only for it to be completely reinstated just a few months later, much to the dismay of its LGBTQ alumni.
Brigham Young University has reintroduced a ban on public affection among LGBTQ students, stirring a storm of controversy.
BYU, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had removed the explicit ban on LGBTQ physical intimacy from its Honor Code in early 2020, only to backtrack a month later.
The language banning “all forms of physical intimacy” among LGBTQ students was reinstated into the Honor Code last month, causing an uproar within the university community.
The Church Educational System, overseeing BYU’s campuses, took the decision to reinsert the contentious language, signaling a significant shift in the university’s stance towards LGBTQ relationships.
A “Chaste and Virtuous Life”
Students are required to lead a “chaste and virtuous life,” as outlined by the CES, involving abstinence from sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage and same-sex romantic behavior.
The updated Honor Code standards state that public displays of affection among same-sex couples will be subject to disciplinary action, leaving many questioning the fairness and equity of such decisions.
The reinstated ban has been criticized strongly by LGBTQ advocates, students, and allies who argue that it contradicts the principles of inclusivity and acceptance.
Despite the formal removal of the language, the unofficial ban on same-sex romantic behavior has persisted, creating a challenging environment for LGBTQ students and staff.
“Queer Students Aren’t Welcome”
Activists within and outside the university are rallying for equal rights and treatment for LGBTQ individuals, “It’s heartbreaking to see it repeated over and over again that queer students aren’t welcome,” said one BYU major.
The clash between religious beliefs and fundamental human rights poses a significant dilemma, emphasizing the need for more inclusive policies.
The university’s reinstatement of the ban has sparked heated debates, showcasing a stark division in the BYU community on matters of LGBTQ acceptance and respect.
“Everytime they reinstate it, it hurts a little more,” the graduate continued.
Legal experts suggest that the ban may face legal challenges, with the laws intervening to protect LGBTQ rights.
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