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BYU still no go to Understanding Same Gender Attraction

Understanding Same Gender Attraction
Written by Craig Ogan

It shouldn’t be surprising that after a three-year wait on an application to be a recognized club at Brigham Young University, the club’s leadership feels neglected. “They kind of just strung us along over time,” said Robert McClellan, who drafted the Understanding Same Gender Attraction’s first application in 2015. “They would hold out these carrots, but … I don’t think they ever actually intended to work with us,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Tribune reports there are 257 recognized clubs at BYU, like the Abracadabra magician society, a band of Shakespeare enthusiasts, six a cappella choirs, a rollerskating league and one group that calls itself Unraveling Pornography. Additionally, there is the Jane Austen Regency Club, a scuba team, and the “Weird Al” Yankovic Fan Club.

However, USGA doesn’t appear even among the unofficial clubs. The LGBTQ group formed in 2010; it currently has 100 members and meets weekly.

“We’ve been talking with BYU for a long time, and still nothing has happened,” Liza Holdaway, the club’s current president told the Tribune. “We’ve never been given concrete answers of what we should change or what we should do.” The club has frequently met with administration officials and promised that approval is imminent.

Since BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its policies must be in accordance with the faith’s practices. The Mormon Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not a sin but acting on it is one. BYU’s Honor Code forbids “not only sexual relations between members of the same sex but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” That must include joining a club.

The article reports, “BYU formed a working group in late 2016 to study the club’s proposal, as well as other ways to support gay, bisexual, and transgender students. A year later, a few club members were invited to participate and provide input.”

So far, no go from BYU. The club is renewing efforts this summer and hopes for approval by the end of the year.

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Craig Ogan

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