Gay BYU Student
April 8, 2012 by staff
Gay BYU Student, Students from a strict Mormon college that prohibits “hmosxl behavior” have launched a Web video aimed at reassuring other gay and lsbn youth struggling with their faith and sexual orientation.
The video recently posted to YouTube by 22 Brigham Young University students is the first of its kind with ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids gay sex and marriage. By posting the video, the students could face excommunication from the church and expulsion at BYU, where gay students are prohibited from touching or kissing.
The campaign is part of columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, which seeks to give voices and hope to bullied gay and lsbn teenagers. In the video, several BYU students confess that they considered suicide because they didn’t think they could be Mormon and gay.
“In our religion, there is a lot of misunderstanding and ugliness about hmosxlity,” said Kendall Wilcox, a former BYU faculty member who produced the video and serves as an adviser to the school’s unofficial gay, lsbn, bisexual and transgender support group. “We wanted to send this message that God loves you just as you are.”
The video has sent tremors through the Mormon community and represents the latest effort to reconcile the church’s conservative values with a growing acceptance toward gay relationships. The video estimates there are more than 1,800 LGBT students at BYU. It also notes that the school is consistently ranked as one of the most unfriendly campuses for those students in the nation.
A mere five years ago, BYU students weren’t allowed to discuss their sexual orientation without risking expulsion under the school’s strict honor code. A clarification in 2007 stressed that “one’s stated sexual orientation is not an Honor Code issue.”
In 2010, BYU lifted a ban on advocacy of hmosxlity. That same year, students formed Understanding Same-Gender Attraction. The support group drew eight people to its first meeting. This semester more than 80 students have attended the weekly meetings on campus.
Gay students must still adhere to much stricter standards than their heterosexual classmates under the updated honor code. While premarital sex is off limits to all BYU students, straight couples are allowed to kiss and cuddle openly on campus. Gay students cannot.
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