BYU Honor Code Change Causes Confusion

All+around+the+world+universities+are+changing+to+include+the+ever-growing+LGTBQ%2B+community.

Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash

All around the world universities are changing to include the ever-growing LGTBQ+ community.

Olivia Harris, Journalist

On the 12th of February 2020, BYU, a group of private universities owned by The Church of Latter-Day Saints, made a change to their Honor Code. 

This change removed the section of the Honor Code specifically stating that “All forms of physical intimacy” between members of the same sex were forbidden. The church themselves did not specify what this change meant at the time, but multiple figures with connections to BYU made comments about the change. 

In a lecture since uploaded to the internet, a finance professor who teaches at BYU called this change a “Blessing”, specifically for those who opposed it. He admonished the students, stating, “I’m just saying, we need to be more Christ-like.” The majority of people took this chance to mean that romantic relationships between same-sex couples were now being tolerated. 

On March 4th, BYU came out with a letter announcing where they stood on this subject and what the change meant. The letter made it clear that BYU’s actual policy regarding same-sex relations has not changed, stating, 

“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 standard 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 the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children’ (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). Church leaders have long taught these principles… Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.”

After BYU made this clarifying statement, many people were upset. Since then, there have been multiple protests advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. These protests have been held on the campuses of BYU and BYU-I. 

Sources:

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/02/19/byu-appears-remove/

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/03/04/after-byu-honor-code/

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/02/26/popular-video-this-byu/