Religious organizations need to include LGBTQ community in efforts to be more loving and accepting

March 23, 2020

BYU Idaho Honor Code Response - Ethan Chadwick

BYU Idaho Honor Code Response. Photo: Ethan Chadwick

Lisa Deaderick | The San Diego Union-Tribune

For LGBTQ students at Brigham Young University, the message has been confusing. The school, founded and largely funded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon church), has a long-standing honor code that included language barring students from expressing any form of homosexual behavior.

Nathan Kitchen is president of Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ individuals and their families as they navigate the intersections they occupy in life, including the ways they interact with the Mormon church, whether they’re members or not. Kitchen, an alumnus of BYU, spoke with me to discuss the changes and ambiguity in the honor code, its impact on students, and what could instead be done to create a safer and more loving environment for LGBTQ individuals.

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