BYU and the LGBT community

I am surprised that no one is talking about the latest firestorm that is the effort by the Athlete Ally LGBT group to derail the hopes of BYU getting an invitation into the Big 12. I found it quite presumptuous that this group would send letters to all the presidents of the big 12 member institutions as if they wield as much leverage and power as maybe even the Texas politicians that weighed in on the decision of who gets in and who doesn’t. The LGBT community is well aware of the role of the Church in the Prop 8 effort in California. Just as the LGBT community targeted individuals and businesses that supported Prop 8, they are pouncing on the opportunity to turn mainstream society against the Church and its supporters.

That said, do they raise a legitimate issue with regards to the different treatment that heterosexual couples get versus LGBT couples? If BYU truly treats LGBT couples fair and equitable, shouldn’t they be allowed to hold hands or kiss on campus just like heterosexual couples? If the law states that it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation then aren’t we obligated to follow the laws in the land in which we reside? I know displays of public affection can be revolting with some heterosexual couples when its excessive. For most of us, public displays of excessive affection between homosexual couples would be equally off-putting. . So should BYU dig its heels in or soften its position on this issue? I am still wrestling with the issue and wondering how BYU should respond.

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Yeah, sure, why doesn’t BYU and the Church soften up there and everywhere that people have a problem with our religion and the way our leaders administer the Church and BYU. We could soften up until we become just like other Christian churches. And after all the Church has, at times, softened up to get along.

I get what you’re saying. We shouldn’t compromise our doctrine just to get along with the world. But, is allowing the LGBT couples to show affection on campus the same as heterosexual couples going against Church doctrine or just policy? When I went to BYU, the dress code policy was different than it is today. So, policy (not doctrine) changes at BYU as societal norms change. When my brother got married in the temple, his wife’s family (not members) had to wait outside. Had he married civilly first, then his inlaws could have been a part of the wedding and there would have been no bitterness among the inlaws to begin their marriage. But, had he married civilly first, he would have had to wait one year before he and his wife could be sealed in the temple. Is the one year wait doctrinal or policy? When I went to Brazil, the laws there do not recognize a temple marriage as legal. So, members in Brazil get married civilly first and then get sealed in the temple the next day or whenever. My point is that there is a difference between doctrinal issues and policy issues. When the laws of the land dictate, we adjust our policy accordingly. Some could argue that the laws of the land have changed in the U.S. and BYU policy should change to comply with the laws of the land. Whether we like it or not, discrimination laws have changed in the U.S. If we have policies that are deemed discriminatory, don’t we need to rectify that? Isn’t it a legal obligation to do so? Our doctrine is to “obey, honor, and sustain the law of the land.” When our doctrine is at odds with the laws of the land, it is one thing. But, when our policies are now considered discriminatory, don’t we have an obligation to change the policy? We have a Sunday policy that we keep as well but it is based on doctrine (one of ten commandments), The issue has grown complicated over the last ten years as society has changed. This is why I’m struggling with it.

I really don’t have a problem with what you say with the huge exception of how far do we go. If the current climate continues to evolve as it has been, it is not too far fetched that USA law may be, sometime in the not too far distant future, that gay marriage must be fully accepted by all entities both public and private. For example, it might be deemed discriminatory for the Church to exclude practicing gays from entering the temple and participating fully in all activities therein.

However, I don’t want to perpetuate this discussion in this specific forum.

1 Like The more I learn about what BYU has already been doing behind the scenes to reach out to the LGB community the more impressed I am. You can’t watch the video of the campus organization to help LGB students without feeling grateful that these kids are not just being forgotten.


I really appreciate the well written and objective post which you made above.

I have a few thoughts which you may or may not appreciate. I am not taking the position of the Devils Advocate. Instead,
I am telling what I really believe to be true, just and fair. You have your free agency to agree or disagree with it.

I have always been opposed to any form of what appears to be, (real or not), prejudice, be it National Origin, Color of a person’s skin, sexual preference, or religious preference. Even as a child, first introduced into the Mormon faith, in 1947, I resisted being around anyone that I would hear using derogative words to describe the Black Community, or those of other religious faiths. At that time, the Catholics were the target. Blacks were not really welcome in the Church until 1978, and today, the LGBT community is the target. Back in the 1940,s, 50,s and early 60,s the LG community were referred to as
queer. (Another derogatory term).

I am reminded of the parable when the Master sent his two man servants into the world for a year. One of them was to report back to the Master telling of all the ugliness in the world, while the other was to report back after a year reporting all the beauty. I paraphrase when saying that one found an ugly and dpangerious thorny bush while the other found that same bush to provide first beautiful Rose buds that later developed into a full blown flower protect from other animals with protective thorns so that the beauty of the flower could survive.

I would like for us to find the beauty in all people regardless of their religious preference, the color of their skin, their sexual preference. I would like to see us, like our early teachings in the 1940’s and 1950’s that all man, woman and child is given their free agency to choose right from wrong and they shall be judged accordingly based on the choices they made, by their father in heaven and we are to judge not, lest we be judged, as we leave all judging to God. I liked that.

As far as holding hands or kissing on campus or showing other forms of affection, I am not against that at all. What I am against is saying that it is okay for heterosexuals but not okay for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals of Transvestites.

I truly believe that all men/women are created equally with certain inalienable rights, and among those rights are the right to live, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious that some of us have an IQ as high as 152, or higher, while others have one as low as 55 or lower, and that difference does not allow the lower one to compete successfully with the one with 152. For a long time and up until Affirmative Action, the slaves right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness was denied.
That was then and this is now. We can not keep making the same mistakes and expect for society to get better. We must constantly try to be more fair and more just and treat each person equally, as hard as it seems to be now.

Last comment: I think that it is good that we have our beliefs in what we believe as being moral, good, and correct.
I also think that it is good that we try, through missionaries and other places, to share our beliefs. I think that it is wrong and not good, when we try to force our value system on others that do not want to share our value system… We should live by our beliefs but we should not try to force others to live by our beliefs. Leave the judging of others to God.

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Glen, in response to your reply to Roy.

I really like your thinking regarding policy vs doctrine.

My introduction into the Church came in 1947 and since that time, I have seen many, many, many changes.
The War In Heaven; Cane killing Able; We really don’t know, but all knowledge will be given in heaven; and the
best of all, 1978, I have had a hard time sorting out doctrine from policy.

I too am a victim like your brother’s wife. My family, all being Catholic, thought of me as a reject, as a great disappointment,
as a trader, as one that is crazy, when I joined the Mormon Church. Over the years, things started to be smoothed out a bit
until I got married in the Masa Temple. (L.A. Temple had not yet been built.) (1955). All haties broke out when over 50 of my wife’s family and friends attended the marriage but not one of my family was allowed. Yes, they could have attended a reception afterwards, but none of them, being Catholic was worthy to see me married. I was totally disowned and never again had a relationship with my blood relatives. At least in my families eyes, correct or not, my family saw the Church as saying that all of my wife’s family was good and worthy, while all of my family, not being Mormons, were bad and not worthy,

My wife’s father was a Bishop for 13 years. He started the East Los Angeles Ward and later, as bishop, starter the East Los Angeles Stake Center before being released. I loved him dearly and I still do. He and his wife and his daughter, (my wife), were my guardian angels.

My oldest daughters husband was a Bishop for 4 years + and many family members on my wife’s side has been in Bishoprics.

I have been a counselor in the Elders Quorum, and many other positions from home teacher to Sunday school teacher, to scout leader, the director of Activites on the Stake Level, and with all of the great opportunities that I have been blessed with, I have always had questions as to doctrine or policy, and why can’t we live fully those things that we believe, and share through missionaries and other sources, with those that will listen to and evaluate, but do all of this without forcing our value system and our beliefs on those such as the LGBT community, that do not want to share and do not want our values and do not want our beliefs, Leave the judgment to God. Let then have their free agency to choose that which they believe to be true. Let God do his job of rewarding them in accordance to the choices they make and not for the choices that we try to force upon them.

Roy, regarding your reply to Glen “How far to we go”

My answer would be two fold.

  1. Separate policy from doctrine,
    Hold dear and true without compromise those things to be determined as doctrine, and live those things to the best of
    our ability. Share our doctrine with those that will listen and accept through our missionary system and other ways, but
    Never, ever, ever, ever try to force out beliefs and our value system on anyone that does not want them. Give them the
    free agency to make their own choices and allow God to do his work by rewarding them according to the choice they
    make, and remember to judge not, lest we be judged, and to leave all judging to God.

  2. Those things that are policy, continue to make the necessary changes to be socially acceptable to all members of our
    society, and not just our own community of LDS. Try were policy permits, to get along with all that share our planet.

Glen regarding your reply to Roy,,

I too was thrilled with the new attitude being taken on and of campus regarding the SGBT community on and off campus.
In the after math of Cal Prop 8, it is a very good and important change.

Perhaps it is not enough change to undue the harm that we did to ourselves and to the SGBT community.,

When we shouted from the top of the mountains to the depth of Death Valley, that marriage is between one man and one woman, we did so before remembering our early teachings about polygamy, regardless of the reasons for it. One rationalization begets another, so we better not discuss those issues except to say that we came across as hypocrites and using our beliefs for our own connivance.

We need to stay out of the business of forcing our beliefs and our values onto those that do not want our beliefs and values.

We should live our beliefs and values as much as possible, but never try to force others to live by our values. We are only
15 million people world wide and about 8 million people in the United State that has over 300 million people. We need to spend more time in the kindergarten sand box until we learn how to get along with others outside of our fold better.

It was a major mistake for the church to get involved with Prop 8. We should stay out of politics as a church. We should never try to push religion on others but have an open door policy that welcomes all to come unto Christ.

Meanwhile, 2015 was not one of our best years…to roll out the most awkward policy towards Gay people in my lifetime was not that big of a deal to me but when Elder Nielson doubled down on it and said that it was doctrine crossed the line in my mind.

We as a family include our gay son and his spouse in everything we do; It is the right thing to do. But as a church we can’t do that.

If we are passed over by the Big 12 because of this, we have no one but ourselves to blame.

queer was historically a perfectly legitimate word… meaning strange, odd or unusual. Only in this century or perhaps late in the last was it considered more derogatory than descriptive…

I keep hearing that the Church is pushing our beliefs onto others. And the citations are Prop 8 and ??? Tell me how that is pushing our beliefs / religion onto others. I suppose the church does not have any right to express ourselves outside of church and when does that extend to inside the church? In this country any group, be they religious or non-religious, have the right to express their concerns about policies that would impact the church. I am 68 years old and have lived all over the country and outside the country and have never witnessed the church forcing our beliefs on others. But for many people I guess it is really a desire for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to shut the hell up! Right! If the founding fathers had followed that counsel, we would all belong to the Church of England. Those with the belief that some things are policy and some things are only doctrine, and never the twain shall meet, what are they. Please SPECIFY.

It would really be better if the church is run by the polls and thus policy and doctrine be changed when the polls indicated changes in public sentiment. Become the Church of the Public Sentiment. So down the road, when the federal government demands that gay, lesbians, etc. be allowed to enter the temple (whether members or not) and participate fully in Temple ceremonies, that will be ok because entering the temple only with a Temple Recommend is just a policy after all. What about, down the road in the future, the federal government deems the scriptural statements about alternative lifestyles as discriminatory, will we then cut out such references in our scriptures? Oh and BTW, I have loads of questions and even doubts about the LDS Church / religion as presently constituted but I sure as heck will not be a member of the Church of the Public Sentiment.

At the time of my marriage (in the Salt Lake Temple), on my side of the family, the only members of the LDS church was myself, my brother (who did not come up from Texas for the marriage) and my Mother (my father was not a member at that time). There was never any discord among my family and friends who could not go into the Temple. They all understood because we educated them. I have family members who are gay (using the general term) and they are loved and fully integrated into our family.

Do we have beliefs, doctrines and policies which separates us from other religions and is heaven directed or are we just another bland Christian religion, directed only by humans and interested only in the court of public opinion?

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I agree with you Roy. I’m a little bit confused and/or perturbed at some of the stuff I am reading in this thread. I hope I am misunderstanding some of the opinions and ideas being expressed here because it sounds like some are suggesting that we need to become the “church of public opinion” and adhere to others’ ideas about what we should believe in and how we should worship.

I just don’t understand that perspective.

We are truly drawing closer to the time that could be considered the last days. No more fence sitting… either you are with it or against it. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve…


and “gay” used to mean happy or pleasant I believe. The rainbow used to be a symbol of God’s promise that he would never flood the earth again… and now most people don’t even believe that ever happened. It’s amazing how quickly public opinion and sentiment can change when the wind blows a little.

When people rely on themselves, their opinions, beliefs, etc. and stop turning to Heavenly Father for inspiration and guidance, we are destined to fail as a society.

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There are two issues that need to be addressed with the honor code as it pertains to same sex attraction. One is a legal issue and the second is a moral issue (what is the right thing to do). Having gone to BYU, I get why we have an honor code. The Church is trying to create a good environment where parents can send their kids to get a good education while at the same time strengthening the foundation of faith in the gospel. Drinking and smoking and premarital sex are acceptable and even the norm on most campuses. Up until now, the honor code has been within legal limits. It is “legal” for instance, to require students to abstain from alcohol while attending BYU. The issue of same sex attraction has led to changes in our laws that now offer greater protection of same sex individuals. My initial point was that it is our doctrine to obey, honor, and sustain the law of the land unless it infringes on our religious liberties that are protected by the constitution. Not allowing same sex couples to show affection on campus when it is fine for heterosexual couples may be grounds for breaking anti-discrimination laws. From a legal standpoint, it could be argued that the honor code should be revised to comply with the anti-discrimination laws. Maybe it could just state “no sexual contact” for example which applies to all couples.

From a moral standpoint, there are kids that struggle with same sex attraction and wish they didn’t. They may try to change, they may just feel miserable or lonely, or they may try to live the law of chastity but still share a loving relationship. There is an entire ward of such members in San Francisco. Until we walk a mile in their shoes, we really can’t judge. I don’t think we are truly living our religion if we withhold our love and association as a statement of disapproval. We can love, respect, and show consideration to those with same-sex attraction without endorsing their lifestyle.

Yes Harold, I agree.

I also remember that Gay use to be a common name for guys (Straight or otherwise.) I use to work with a straight guy named Gaylord and everyone, including himself called him Gay. Gay was thought of as a happy name; a fun name; a good name. That all was before the middle 1960’s.

We believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law of the land, according to our Articles of Faith, which, in my opinion, is not gospel but instead, it is a statement of our position in society.


I really don’t mean to offend and there is no hatred of any kind or anything near that intended, but I rarely agree with any of your attitude that goes along with your statements.

The Jesus in the Bible that I love and I admire, and I respect, tried to bring us all together regardless of our backgrounds. He did not go to the Temples or Sinagogs to choose his diciples. Instead he went among the rough spoken seamen that were out to sea sometimes for weeks before returning to land and that is where he chose his apostles. He sat down with the most despised of all men for dinner. That was the tax collector. He walked among the shunned lepors in their own colonie. According to the Bible, which many say was not true, none the less, it is in the Bible that his life long companioned was a prostute whom he said among the men about to stone her to death, Let he without sin cast the first stone.

Indeed Jesus set a high level of presidence for us to love all. (Not just those in our group). Love thy neighbor as thy self.
Do onto others as ye would have them do onto you. etc.

Don’t let the name brand get in the way of the product. Do belittle any religion that in their own way, tries to bring people closer to Christ and God the Father.

[quote=“Roy, post:12, topic:6868”]

(Roy) I keep hearing that the Church is pushing our beliefs onto others. And the citations are Prop 8 and ??? Tell me how that is pushing our beliefs / religion onto others.

(Ron) Okay Roy,
When the LDS Church and it’s University, each based in Utah, created an orchestrated campaign to go into California
elections and be a major contrubuter to stopping the LGBT’s from having the right to marry, because marriage was to be between one man and one woman, than that was pushing our beliefs on one segment on the California Society that not only did not believe in it but also had no desire to obide by it. That is interference with others beliefs and trying to force our beliefs on them, thus, denying them the opportunity of marriage because they do not believe as we do.
We forgot, but the critics did not forget, that until it became illegal, the Church practice marriage of one man having more than one wife was Okak. . My own father in law came from a pologymist family and was one of the best men I have ever know in my life. He was my Bishop for 13 years. So is the LGBT issue within the Church doctrine or procedure? I think that since we changed our belief that than it was okay for man to have more than one wife, but now, it is not okay for marriage to be anything other than one man for one wife, I must ask, is it docrine or procedure currently being used?

(ROY) I suppose the church does not have any right to express ourselves outside of church and when does that extend to inside the church?

(Ron) In this country any group, be they religious or non-religious, have the right to express their concerns about policies that would impact the church. They also have a right to send missionaries into the world to spread the word to those willing to hear.

Others also have the right to react to the message be it positive or negative.

In the case of the LGBT group, in response to our interference with California Prop 8, the response negative and hurtful and we will all feel the pain if that response keeps us from ever getting to the next level in a P5 conference. If we learn from this experience of being kept out of Power 5 conferences be they Pac 10/12 or Big 12, or by presidence, all of the other 3 P5 conferences, it may have been worth it if we learn anything from it. The slower we are at learning, the less helpful the lesson becomes.

(Roy) I am 68 years old and have lived all over the country and outside the country and have never witnessed the church forcing our beliefs on others.

(Ron) I am 81 years old, I have been many times in every country of Europe, Iberia, Scandanvia, United Kingdom, Northern Africa, Most of the Middle East, Canada, Mexico, Central America and I have lived in Mexico and Germany, and I have witnessed the Church, or it’s members,forcing their beliefs on others that did not appreciated it.

One time, while living in Germany, at an LDS branch in Heidleburg, I was asked by the Branch President, to not bring my guest with me to Church anymore because he was half black.

While living in California, I was asked by some gay acquaintances why the Church in Utah would interfer with their California elections causing, at least until the surpreme court over ruled the election, the LGBT community from being able to marry? (So why shouldn’t that same LGBT group feel like they should keep that group from joining any P5 conference?)

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Jim, “No more fence sitting” Are you going back to the days of our teaching pre middle 1950’s regarding a War In Heaven? I don’t think we preach that anymore. 1978 would indicate that we don’t preach that anymore. I think this issue was changed in the middle 1950’s along with the Cane and Able theory that was very shortly lived in the 1950’s when we finally came to the conclusion that we really don’t know that answer but all will be know in the hereafter.

I think that THE most intelligent post on this subject comes from Glenn which seems to be to be very objective while others seem far more subjective, self righteous and emotional.

"From a legal standpoint, he says, “It could be argued that the honor code should be revised to comply with the anti-discrimination laws. Maybe it could just state “no sexual contact” for example which applies to all couples.” Doesn’t this make sense and is there really any need to be defensive about this?

Questions and gaining knowledge should not be a threat. There is nothing negative about this thread. It is truth seeking.

" is allowing the LGBT couples to show affection on campus the same as heterosexual couples, going against Church doctrine or just policy?" ISN’T THIS AN HONEST QUESTION THAT SHOULD NOT COME UNDER ATTACK?

What if we just said that there is no showing of affection on campus, or not mention it at all, but one way or the other,
treat all, be they SGBT or Straight, the same in wording and in deed, and thus, be obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law of the land, or do we not believe in that any more. Again, which is doctrine and which is policy. This needs to be addressed and done so objectively and not defensibly. It is an honest question.