The students featured in a video about being gay at Brigham Young University are not in obvious violation of the honor code, according to Carri Jenkins, an assistant to the president of BYU.
Jenkins went on to say that for the video alone, the students would not be punished. The honor code, Jenkins said, is “based on conduct, not on feeling, and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue.”
All BYU students sign on to the honor code upon enrollment. The code outlaws premarital sex and breaking the code “may result in actions up to and including separation from the university.”
“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,” reads the honor code.
The 9 minute, 37 second video features a number of gay, lesbian and bisexual students around BYU and is part of the larger “It Gets Better” video campaign started by writer Dan Savage. The project was started in response to a rash of suicides of teenagers who were bullied for being gay. The goal of the videos is to let people know they are not alone and that life gets better.
“It is very different to be gay and Mormon because it feels like neither community accepts you completely,” said Bridey Jensen, acting president of the group Understanding Same-Gender Attraction. “We put out the message for youth that are going through this and we want them to know that we were them a few years ago and it gets better and there is a place for you.”
Jensen’s organization is not recognized by the university, but she did say that professors and administrators have been supportive of what the group is trying to do.
The BYU video is unique in the fact that it discusses being gay at a university that has consistently been ranked as the most unfriendly campus for LGBT students in the country, according to Princeton Review.READ FULL BELIEF BLOG POST