Sunday, February 7, 2010

Utah Culture 101

The Honor Code

My apologies, readers. I had every intention of writing the next installment of the Internet Dating series, but found myself without time. The weekend was eventful in the best of unexpected ways.

Instead I leave you with something that I ran across this week that I hadn’t examined for myself. It definitely helps understand the Mormon/homosexual dichotomy at least for those attending Brigham Young University and other schools.

BYU’s Honor Code (a contractual code of conduct between school and student) states the following in the section entitled “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 [A commandment to abstain from sex until marriage]. Homosexual behavior and/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.

For those of you unfamiliar with the LDS faith or culture, I hope that this sheds some light. Those breaking the Honor Code face expulsion from the school as a consequence of their actions. Students of BYU and other church-run schools are aware of these conditions as they enter them.

BYU opinion

(Sorry, BYU friends and alumni, I couldn’t help myself with the pic).

To my chagrin, I must admit that I pinched this informational report from a post I came across in Salt Lake’s Gay Gossip Blog, Salty Gossip. (It’s a sort of guilty pleasure…).


Laurent said...

Well, the definitions of even "homosexual behavior" tend to be so fuzzy that many are scared of even male/male hugging. I hope they can clarify as to what that really means someday.

Madame Curie said...

I hadn't realized that "advocacy of homosexual behavior" was part of the Honor Code. Too bad there is so little room for freedom of thought and social justice.

Mister Curie said...

So nice of them to spell out that the honor code rules out "all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings." Sounds like the typical gay mormon law of chastity is out. I'm so glad I wasn't able to accept I was gay while still attending YBU.

wozzel said...

wow. that is a bit hectic to be so blunt about it though? I dont even know whay to say other than I could not imagine how difficult it must be to have to hide who you are while trying to study.

Kurt Peterson said...

I'm glad I made it through BYU alive.... Too focused on other things to allow myself time to accept my attractions, too scared to hardly even touch women.

If one of my children is homosexual, I'll beg them not to go.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Other Species: It's definitely fuzzy. That is a good point about hugging.

@Mme. Curie: It's kind of ironic because I feel that a good education challenges our beliefs to strengthen students and forge adults.

@Mr. Curie: And I'm glad I never attended. Haha.

@wozzel: I wrote this post to see what outsiders had to say. I bet it's a little weird and super conservative.

@Joe: Sounds like we had a similar experience at different universities: "Too focused on other things to allow myself time to accept my attractions, too scared to hardly even touch women."

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