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Brigham Young University Eases Policy On Homosexual Behavior

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Brigham Young University, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, removed its rules prohibiting homosexual behavior on campus this week, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 

A section of BYU’s honor code that banned homosexual behavior on campus was deleted, opening the possibility for LGBTQ students to express physical intimacy in public without fearing investigation or punishment like probation or expulsion, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. 

However, the University still requires students to personally commit to chastity, which means abstaining from any sexual relations outside a marriage between a man and woman. (RELATED: BYU Valedictorian Comes Out During Speech, Met With Applause At Faith-Based School)

Less than a year ago I joined my student body in protesting BYU’s honor code, a policy that banned same-gender romantic relationships.

As of today, homosexual relationships are now treated the same as heterosexual ones at BYU :’)

Girls and gays, we did it! ❤️???? pic.twitter.com/67VGLC3mgU

— Matty Easton (@easton_matty) February 19, 2020

The updated honor code is aligned with the new General Handbook released earlier Wednesday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids all sexual misconduct, including same-sex relations, according to Deseret News.

The updated Honor Code continues to be a principle-based code that reflects the moral standards of the Church. It allows each campus to support and guide its students on an individual basis according to the principles outlined in the Honor Code. https://t.co/InFFA9wgIq

— BYU (@BYU) February 19, 2020

The previous honor code required all members of the university to “manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity,” according to the Deseret News. “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 now omitted section reads according to Deseret News.

BYU said on Twitter that although there were honor code changes, the principles of the honor code remain the same. 

In speaking with Honor Code Office Director Kevin Utt this afternoon, we’ve learned that there may have been some miscommunication as to what the Honor Code changes mean. Even though we have removed the more prescriptive language, the principles of the Honor Code remain the same.

— BYU (@BYU) February 19, 2020

“The Honor Code Office will handle questions that arise on a case-by-case basis. For example, since dating means different things to different people, the Honor Code Office will work with students individually.”

The Honor Code Office will handle questions that arise on a case by case basis. For example, since dating means different things to different people, the Honor Code Office will work with students individually.

— BYU (@BYU) February 19, 2020