On Monday, BYU forward Brandon Davies was kicked off the men’s basketball team for violating the school honor code. BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all of its students are expected to follow the Church’s principles, which Davies violated by having premarital sex with his girlfriend.
As a result of Davies’ violation (and the fact that a student handbook has heavily affected the college basketball landscape), attention has turned to this page on the BYU website. It’s the school’s honor code, in full.
One section that is interesting is the part that deals with homosexuality.
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.
Now, when I say interesting, I don’t mean surprising. Practicing Mormons adhere to the law of chastity, which “prohibits sexual behavior, including homosexual acts, outside the bounds of a heterosexual marriage.” Since BYU’s students agree to follow the law of chastity when they sign the honor code, by extension, they’re signing a contract to not show any outward signs of being gay.
That doesn’t make it any less discouraging. Here’s a story of one (former) BYU student who violated this specific section of the honor code, courtesy of his blog.
Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: I attended BYU from 2001-2002 and left because of an honor code violation. My bad act? Dating a boy.
I could have gone back to BYU, but it would have involved lots of things, including counseling with a therapist, keeping a journal about my experience fixing my honor code violation, writing a paper on “Same-Gender Attraction,” and “forsak[ing] any participation with homosexual men and avoid[ing] inappropriate behavior such as kissing, hugging, romantic touching, clubbing, dating, etc., even for non-sexual purposes.”
For those wondering what an honor code letter from Brigham Young looks like, here it is. I’d imagine Brandon Davies’ letter looked somewhat similar, although replace “Avoid Even Marginal Homosexual Contact” with whatever the equivalent is for premarital sex.
(Click images to enlarge).
[My BYU Honor Code Violation] Boy in Suit