Photo Credits: The Daily Beast
Brigham Young University (BYU) owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has revised its strict code of conduct to strip a rule that banned any behavior that reflected “homosexual feelings;" which LGBTQ students and their allies felt created an unfair double standard not imposed on heterosexual couples. An Honor Code of the university has been changed and an entire section in the code that was dedicated to “homosexual behavior" has been removed.
The phrase that upsets students the most was the part that said "all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings" is prohibited. BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins didn't elaborate on the thinking behind the change saying only that the changes removed “prescriptive language” and “kept the focus on the principles of the Honor Code, which have not changed.”
Students were thrilled when they found out about the change. BYU student Franchesca Lopez, tweeting under the handle @fremlo_, wrote, "It's confirmed. Gay dating is okay, kissing and hand holding from the mouth of an HCO [Honor Code Office] counselor," and included a photo of her kissing a friend in front of the campus statue of Brigham Young. However, their happiness didn’t last long because Brigham Young University in Utah reiterated Wednesday that “same-sex romantic behavior” is not allowed on campus.
In order to clarify misinterpretation after it dropped a section of the code banning behavior that reflected “homosexual feelings,” BYU posted a letter online that reads:
One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on “Homosexual Behavior.” The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code. There is and always has been more to living the Lord’s standards of a chaste and virtuous life than refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage. Lasting joy comes when we live the spirit as well as the Letter of God’s laws.
A foundational doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that a family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.
Of course, nothing important has changed in the Mormon owned university; they just made a few cosmetic changes in their Honor Code.