‘Mormon Land’: College administrator examines BYU’s Honor Code reversal on LGBTQ issues

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Students protest outside the student center at Brigham Young University in Provo on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, after an official with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints school issued a clarification to the school's Honor Code, which said that same-sex romantic behavior is still "not compatible" with the rules at BYU.

Back in mid-February, Brigham Young University set off shock waves when it quietly removed from its Honor Code the section forbidding “homosexual behavior.”

Many students believed — and had been told by school officials — that the shift meant the prohibition against such actions as same-sex hand-holding, kissing and dating was no longer in place. The LGBTQ community and its allies celebrated.

Two weeks later, however, the Church Educational System, which oversees all BYU campuses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, did an about-face, stating that “same-sex romantic behavior” remained incompatible with the school’s rules.

The reversal resulted in anger, frustration, protests and questions about what may happen to LGBTQ students when classes resume on campus.

Michael Austin, a BYU alumnus and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Evansville, a Methodist school in Indiana, discusses the issue on this week’s podcast.

Listen here.