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BYU removes pro-gay advocacy from its honor code

Written by Staff

Over the past few years, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-owned Brigham Young University has been tweaking its Honor Code — the set of standards by which all students agree to abide — on homosexuality. In 2007 when it reworded and expanded its standards to focus on homosexual actions, versus homosexual feelings, it received a lot of media attention.

But earlier this school year, it completely removed “advocacy” from the code, and no one seemed to notice.

As late as the 2009-2010 school year, the code had a section titled, “Homosexual Behavior or Advocacy” which stated “homosexual behavior and advocacy of homosexual behavior are inappropriate and violates the Honor Code.”

“Advocacy includes seeking to influence others to engage in homosexual behavior or promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable,” was included in the code that year.

This year, however, any reference to advocacy has been stripped.

The “Homosexuality” section of the code now reads:

Homosexual Behavior
Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Members of the university community can remain in good Honor Code standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.
One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.

The code had read, from 2007 through 2010, as:

Homosexual Behavior or Advocacy

Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards. Members of the university community can remain in good Honor Code standing if they conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.

One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior and/or advocacy of homosexual behavior are is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings. Advocacy includes seeking to influence others to engage in homosexual behavior or promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.

Prior to its 2007 update, it had read:

Homosexual Behavior or Advocacy

Brigham Young University will respond to student behavior rather than to feelings or orientation. Students can be enrolled at the University and remain in good Honor Code standing if they maintain a current ecclesiastical endorsement and conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code. Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle (whether implied or explicit) or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code.

Calls and emails to the BYU Honor Code Office have yet to be returned.

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