A Good Change to the BYU Honor Code

Some people don't like the BYU Honor Code, mostly because they just don't like BYU. I like it. I encourages students and faculty to be the best they can be. Including those with homosexual inclinations. But sometimes the meaning of policies is not clear.

The LDS Church has more understanding for homosexuals that most people give them credit for. In 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated the position of the LDS church with regard to homosexuality.

"We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord.

"People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

"We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families" (Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71).

Brigham Young University supports the mission of the LDS church. Therefore I was a little bit confused why certain people felt, after reading the BYU Honor Code, that BYU had a different position with regard to homosexuals that the Church did. But the fact of the matter is--quite a few people felt that way. I think, therefore, that the clarification inspired by this confusion was an excellent change to the BYU Honor Code.

Regarding homosexuality, the BYU Honor Code previously said:

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.

The new wording is

Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or orientation 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 sexual orientation 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 or advocacy of homosexual behavior are inappropriate and violate 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.

A related paragraph remains unchanged:

Violations of the Honor Code may result in actions up to and including separation from the University.


  1. Sorry, I disagree with you on this. Thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions. The first BYU policy was a thought acceptance policy. This new policy is a words acceptance policy. The next step is acceptance. We are just giving into the social pressure.

  2. In that last comment I said "we" but I really meant "they" (or BYU).

  3. I thought this was hilarious!:
    " all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings."

    Most people have some homosexual feelings. How can anyone know for sure whether they want to hug someone because of chaste affection, or because of latent homosexual feelings? This is the kind of thing that makes secular people laugh at religious people, Frank.

    There's no point arguing with you about your views on homosexuality. It's obvious that you haven't known any gay people very well and certainly you have not been acquainted with gay couples. Ignorance is the foundation of bigotry.

  4. Travis,

    I have more confidence in the LDS church than that.


    You're reading too much into it. They aren't talking about "latent" homosexual feelings. I know we get laughed at from time to time, but it is usually because we are misunderstood.

    I have known some gay people, but no gay couples. I'm not sure you understand my views about homosexuality. Would you like to describe them? And I'll tell you (honestly) if you're correct, and then you can tell me how my views are ignorant or bigoted.

  5. Don't get me wrong. I have confidence in the Church, not necessarily BYU.

    I still feel this is a slippery slope and the BYU is starting down it fast.

  6. Well Frank, you seem to think that homosexuality is immoral.

    Here's a question for you: If God created homosexuality, how can it be immoral?

    I have known many gay couples. One of my best friends is a lesbian in a long-term relationship. I see nothing about her relationship that is any more dysfunctional than the typical heterosexual relationship.

    I have a gay male colleague who is also in a long-term relationship. He and his partner adopted a baby boy two years ago. They are very devoted to the child and seem to be good parents. They adopted the child from a woman who had an unintended pregnancy and decided she did not want to have an abortion.

  7. I thought you'd analyze me deeper than that!

    That's easy (in a way); you're correct. I think homosexuality is immoral, just like I think heterosexual promiscuity is immoral.

    That being said, though, I hope you don't think my opinion to be that we should shun such people--I don't.

    We can still love and accept people who have what we consider immoral behavior, even if that behavior belongs to ourselves.

  8. "Acceptance" means nothing if it doesn't include equal rights. If it doesn't include equal rights, it's not acceptance.

    You have a right to your opinion that homosexuality is immoral. What you don't have a right to is to impose your view on others.

    Sorry my psychoanalysis was lax. But I really think that your views stem from fear of the unknown.

  9. You might be right that it is somewhat a fear of the unknown. But don't get me wrong--I had friends in my scout troop who I knew had the tendencies, which came out later. We went our separate ways later on, but I was still good friends with one's family. He died of aids.

    I had several female friends (my girlfriend was on all the college athletic teams), who it was common knowledge that they preferred homosexuality. I still considered myself good friends with them, and that their sexual preference was not an affront to me.

  10. Well, I cant see how things like this are "accepted" in the modern world. Why are homosexual relationships unacceptable in the eyes of "God"? Love is love. It doesnt matter if its between a man and a woman or between two men, or two women. Having such rules against homosexuality is an ignorant, bigoted way to run a place. This BYU is a disgrace. With any luck, people will realise how wrong it is and tear these stupid rules down.

  11. Anonymous,

    You're probably correct. Love is love, and they should be able to love each other if they want.

    But BYU is a private institution which has a right to require what it considers moral behavior.

    If they don't want to conform to BYU's Honor Code, I'm not sure why someone would want to come here.


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