Brigham Young University is a beautiful place, like anyplace else, though, there is conflict. For the approximately 1800 LGBT students on the 30,000-student campus, that conflict can reach heartbreaking levels. Seventy-four percent say they have contemplated suicide, and 24 percent have tried to kill themselves.
Being simultaneously Mormon and gay or lesbian is not easy.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, says homosexuality is wrong. On campus, all students are expected to abide by an honor code that prohibits premarital sex. The code does allow some shows of affection, such as holding hands or light kissing among heterosexual students. No such displays of affection are allowed by LGBT students.
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. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates 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.
Last week, a group of LGBT BYU students came out in a big way by releasing an “It Gets Better” video.
They weren’t the first Mormons to release such a video:
BYU’s media relations department did not return a call seeking comment. It Gets Better did not return an email seeking comment.
In Colorado, numerous prominent people have worked with One Colorado to produce a series of similar videos, offering hope to the bullied as well as encouraging all people to be tolerant and accepting of others’ choices.
Even President Obama has gone video on the subject: