Mormon Brigham Young University has removed its 'homosexual behavior' ban from the school's honor code
- Brigham Young University, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, removed a ban on "homosexual behavior" from its honor code.
- The school said the move was made to be in "alignment with the doctrine and policies" of the Mormon Church, which has become more accepting of LGBTQ rights in recent years, but still opposes same-sex marriage.
- BYU said that while "homosexual behavior" has been removed from the code, "sexual relations" between anyone other than a married man and woman is still prohibited.
- It's unclear what exactly is under the umbrella of homosexual behavior, but the school said it will work with students on a case-by-case basis.
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Brigham Young University has removed a ban on "homosexual behavior" from its honor code, the school announced on Wednesday.
The honor code was updated in conjunction with a new handbook published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the university.
And while "homosexual behavior" was removed from its code, the school told KSL the "principles of the Honor Code remain the same," meaning "Sexual relations" between anyone other than a married man and woman is still prohibited.
It remains unclear what behavior between LGBTQ couples will be allowed on campus, and the school said over Twitter that the Honor Code Office would work with students on a case-by-case basis. One counselor told students that holding hands, kissing, and dating would be approved.
Up until the change, BYU's honor code defined homosexual behavior as "all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings," according to USA Today.
BYU students and alumni celebrated the code change on Twitter on Wednesday, though some criticized the school's lack of transparency.
In a statement released by BYU, the school said it made the change to be in "alignment with the doctrine and policies" of the Mormon Church.
"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," the statement said.
BYU's strict honor code must be followed on and off-campus. The code prohibits immodest attire, premarital sex, beards, and the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and coffee. All violations are investigated, and if a violation is confirmed, students can face penalties ranging from a warning to expulsion, the New York Times reported last year.
In recent years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has become more open to LGBTQ policies, and now allows children of same-sex couples to be baptized and blessed. The church still opposes same-sex marriage.
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