I Suppose This Is Progress: Brigham Young University No Longer Prohibits Gay Sexual Behavior Any More Than It Prohibits Any Other Sexual Behavior

Brigham Young University (BYU) this week removed same-sex behavior as specifically prohibited conduct in itsstudent handbook honor code. Now the code  simply bans “all forms of physical intimacy” outside of marriage.

The previous iteration of the code stated,

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.

The revised BYU honor code no longer refers to same-sex intimate relations at all, but directs each member of the BYU community  to commit personally to “abstaining from any sexual relations outside a marriage between a man and a woman” because “the Lord’s law of chastity is abstinence from sexual relations outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.’”

Apparently this is regarded by the LGBTQ community as a big step forward in liberalizing the long-standing position of the Church of Latter Day Saints toward gays. “Less than a year ago I joined my student body in protesting BYU’s honor code, a policy that banned same-gender romantic relationships,” wrote student Matty Easton on Twitter. As of today, homosexual relationships are now treated the same as heterosexual ones at BYU. Girls and gays, we did it!”

Yup! Gay relations are exactly as forbidden as sinful conduct as heterosexual sex is. Let’s have a parade!

There are signs of liberalization, in fact. The Mormons recently released a revised 800 page  general handbook, titled General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” that includes an extensive new section regarding the Church’s attitude toward “transgender individuals.” It states that transgender people face complex challenges, are welcome at church meetings and activities and should be treated with “sensitivity, kindness, compassion and an abundance of Christlike love.” A revised section defines gender as “biological sex at birth,” wherein  “some people experience feelings of incongruence between their biological sex and their gender identity” and thus “may identify as transgender.”

On the other hand, the new honor code language may be more the result of cautious lawyers than thawing opposition to homosexuality. The Supreme Court has taken up consolidated cases this term that could decide whether Title VII indeed covers sexual orientation, as some legal experts argue, and whether distinguishing between sexual orientations in honor codes violates the law.

_________________________

Facts: The Daily Wire, Deseret

6 thoughts on “I Suppose This Is Progress: Brigham Young University No Longer Prohibits Gay Sexual Behavior Any More Than It Prohibits Any Other Sexual Behavior

  1. This is also the Catholic position. There is no ban on homosexual sex per se. There is just a ban on sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Likewise, the requirement of celibacy by priests and nuns is not a ban on sex per se. It is a ban on marriage, and like all unmarried people, priests and nuns are forbidden to have sex.

      • Am I the only one to take this on?

        Well, I can’t. I am busy today. Russia has been trying to hack my appliances! The toaster is acting up. I push down the lever and out of the refrigerator come this. The cat got so freaked out it ran away!

        When I get things settled I promise to contradict your heresy . . . 🙂

  2. A revised section defines gender as “biological sex at birth,”

    Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5
    In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970’s, guevedoces…. These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these ‘girls’ sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects.
    —–

    Gloucester County School Board v. G.G – interACT: Submission to SCOTUS by Advocates for Intersex Youth, et al.
    This case raises issues central to amici’s mission as advocates for intersex youth. Petitioner maintains that the word “sex” in Title IX must refer only to an Individual’s so-called “physiological” sex, rather than the sex with which an individual identifies and lives every day. This is so, Petitioner argues, because “physiological” sex—purportedly unlike gender identity—is binary, objective, and self-evident. The intersex youth for whom amici advocate are a living refutation of this argument.
    Petitioner’s simplistic view of “physiological” sex is demonstrably inaccurate as a matter of human biology. Moreover, it demeans many thousands of intersex youth by erasing their bodies and lives and placing them outside the recognition of the law. Physicians who treat individuals with intersex traits recognize that the key determinant of how individuals navigate sex designations in their lives is their gender identity—their internal sense of belonging to a particular gender.

    Notably, the legal system has struggled for decades to answer the definitional question that Petitioner simply begs. By the time Title IX was enacted, courts well recognized that “(t)here are several criteria or standards which may be relevant in determining the sex of an individual.”
    M.T. v. J.T., 355 A.2d 204, 206–08 (N.J. App. Div. 1976) (listing chromosomes, external genitalia, gonads, secondary sex characteristics, and hormones, as well as gender identity).
    Commentators have noted the “variability of standards that courts employ” in making such determinations.
    Even courts in the same jurisdiction have disagreed about how to determine sex when physiological features do not align.
    Petitioner and its amici also assert that “physiological” sex has the virtue of being an “objective” classification. Pet. Br. at 32; McHugh Br. at 3–6, 12–13.
    Gender identity, they suggest, is “fuzzy and mercurial,” id. at 8, while “physiological” sex simply is. But the foregoing discussion should make clear that this assertion is similarly flawed. An intersex student’s “physiological” sex may depend entirely on which Physiological trait one chooses to privilege. Indeed, because of the diversity of medical perspectives, trained experts can and do disagree on the “correct” sex to assign to an intersex child.
    Interpreting “sex” to refer to a student’s gender identity would avoid (or at least mitigate) these problems. Unlike “physiological” sex, all parties appear to agree on what gender identity means: it is “[an] individual’s ‘innate sense of being male or female.’” Pet. Br. at 36; cf. Resp. Br. at 2 (similar). It is not subject to competing definitions depending on which expert or court is consulted. Moreover, unlike “physiological” sex, a student’s gender identity by definition cannot be subject to differences in medical opinion: each student is the ultimate arbiter of their own gender identity, as they (and they alone) experience it first-hand.

    Accordingly, when Congress enacted the provision at issue here, it knew—or, at minimum, should have Known—that not all students could be straightforwardly categorized as “male” or “female” based on Their anatomy alone. Congress could not have believed otherwise without ignoring millennia of Western history, science, and law.


    Republican National Committee February 2016
    RESOLUTION CONDEMNING GOVERNMENTAL OVERREACH REGARDING TITLE I X POLICIES I N PUBLIC SCHOOLS
    WHEREAS, A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;

    Middle East Fertility Society Journal January 2010, Vol.15(1):51–53,
    A 34-year old man with complete masculinization and a history of several years of infertility was referred to us for genetic reviewing…. Conventional chromosomal analysis indicates a 46,XX karyotype, molecular analyses excluded the presence of SRY (the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome) gene. This case is one of the rare cases reported in the literature in whom testicular differentiation and complete virilization were found in a 46,XX chromosomal constitution, with the absence of SRY gene

    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

    The only editorialising I will do is to clarify that 46,XX men and 46,XY women are uncommon, but not rare enough to write medical journal articles about . 46,XY women who give birth to 46,XY daughters, and 46,XX men lacking any SrY gene are truly rare though.

    The RNC resolution, and the new improved LDS guidebook, are based on biological misconceptions, as erroneous as asserting that Pi=3, or that the Earth is flat. Just more widely held.

    • Yes, such reality is too much for religious institutions to process. Morality has to be simple and basic, or it’s useless. I don’t see any way to resolve this inherent conflict. Do you? Facts have little to do with it.

    • If an alien was to ask to you to show an illustration that showed a typical homo sapiens, you would show a man and woman, each with two arms, two legs and one head. It would be ludicrous to interpret this as ignoring or insulting Siamese twins, or individuals born with missing or deformed limbs. It’s just the biological reality for the vast majority of our species. Likewise, while we can and should be kind and understanding to those with same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, etc., I don’t see it as an insult that human society and paradigms are largely constructed around the notion of biologically and psychologically distinct men and women attracted to the opposite gender. That’s the reality for most of us, and it’s how our species propogates.

      The new LDS Handbook doesn’t take natural transitioning into account, but there is this: “Circumstances vary greatly from unit to unit and person to person. Members and leaders counsel together and with the Lord. Area Presidencies will help local leaders sensitively address individual situations.”

      And then there’s this from a particular webpage on the church policy for transgenders: “Experiencing gender incongruence is not a measure of your faithfulness. Many people pray for years and do all they can to be obedient in an effort to reduce the incongruence, yet find they still feel conflicts. This is not unusual. The experience varies along a spectrum of intensity for different people and at different times for the same person. The experience may also vary for children, youth, and adults.”
      https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/transgender/understanding?lang=eng

      I for one am glad to see my church clarify these things, and I’m aware that even with these clarifications, we are still going against the flow of society in many respects. But to me this is nothing new; even in Biblical times, when everyone seemed to be equally superstitious, the adherents of Judeo-Christianity
      were going against the flow, whether it be the flow of idolatry or the flow of the traditions of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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