SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified the reasoning behind BYU removing the section on “homosexual behavior” from its Honor Code.
Church leaders released a statement on Wednesday addressing misinterpretations regarding the updated Honor Code policy. The changes to the Honor Code left some BYU students curious if same-sex romantic relationships were considered acceptable within the religion.
The Honor Code revision came at the same time the church updated its handbook, leading to some wondering if there was a connection between the two.
“The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code,” said Elder Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the church educational system, in a statement. “There is and always has been more to living the Lord’s standard of a chaste and virtuous life than refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage.”
Today this letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson, Commissioner of the Church Educational System, regarding the updated Honor Code was sent to students and employees at all CES schools. pic.twitter.com/sADljd8lQT
— BYU (@BYU) March 4, 2020
BYU updated its Honor Code Feb. 19, removing a section regarding homosexual behavior. Before the reversal, same-sex relationships were considered inappropriate and in violation of the Honor Code. While “same-gender attraction” is not an Honor Code violation, all forms of physical intimacy “that give expression to homosexual feelings” are, the old code read.
In speaking with Honor Code Office Director Kevin Utt this afternoon, we’ve learned that there may have been some miscommunication as to what the Honor Code changes mean. Even though we have removed the more prescriptive language, the principles of the Honor Code remain the same.
— BYU (@BYU) February 19, 2020
Amid the confusion on what this means, church leaders said its principles on the topic of same-sex intimacy remain the same.
“Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code,” Johnson said.
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