Connect with us


Brigham Young University Is Punishing LGBT Rape Victims for Breaking School’s Honor Code



Any Same-Sex ‘Behavior’ Including Being a Victim of Sexual Assault Violates Mormon University’s Honor Code

Brigham Young University (BYU), already under federal investigation for its negligent handling of reported sexual assault, is also punishing LGBT students who report sexual assault, blaming them for “inappropriate homosexual behavior,” Slate reports.

The Utah-based private university’s mission statement reads that it was “founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [to] assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.” The educational institution then advises that this “assistance should provide a period of intensive learning.”

The price of this intensive learning is more than the $2,575 for church-goers or the $5,150 for non-churchgoers per semester. An “Honor Code” is imposed upon each student upon admission. It’s the violation of this so-called code which can result in the potential punishment, suspension or expulsion which LGBT students face, should they report sexual assault.

The code’s statement calls for students to demonstrate, on and off campus, the “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.” These virtues include, but are not limited to: using clean language, living a “chaste and virtuous” life, not drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee, encouraging others to do the same, and respecting others.

This respect does not pertain to “homosexual behavior,” it could seem, though BYU’s honor code advises that it “will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction.” It further concludes that “homosexual behavior is inappropriate … [and] includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

Such as, apparently, being the victim of same-sex sexual assault.

The Salt Lake Tribune detailed several such assaults, one of which included a gay male student identified only as Andy. He described his “first, secret boyfriend [that had] raped him and dumped him,” and how, “traumatized by and lonesome for the one person who accepted him as a gay man,” he eventually turned to his student congregation’s Bishop for help and support, after a suicide attempt.

What happened next is heartbreaking.

As the same-sex “behavior” was in violation of the honor code, Andy was given an ultimatum in response. He had only two options: to detail the rape with BYU’s Honor Code Office to be disciplined, or for the Bishop to report him for violation of “homosexual behavior” (and be disciplined.)

“It was real that what had happened was going to cost me my education and my job,” Andy told the Tribune, revealing that an investigator took notes “furiously” as he inquired about “what kind of sex had occurred, the dates of when it had occurred, [and] where it had occurred.”

The investigation into the sexual assault led to Andy’s “withheld suspension,” allowing him to attend classes but lose his campus job, his campus housing and ability to participate in campus activities. He was given a “folder of religious writings about the dangers of homosexuality” and forced to meet with a counselor on a weekly basis, which led him to unsuccessfully attempt a heterosexual lifestyle.

BYU declined comment on the matter to the Tribune, and Andy has committed to “grin and bear it,” in order to obtain his BYU degree, the paper reports.

The Tribune also reports a bisexual woman was raped by a man but was afraid to report it for fear of being interrogated and forced to reveal she is bisexual. She chose to confide in visiting teachers, which the Tribune describes as “companions assigned to check on the spiritual and physical welfare of women within Mormon congregations.”

What happened next is also heartbreaking.

“I’m crying and begging them not to tell anybody. The next thing I know, they’ve told the bishop, who told his counselors, and they told their people, and everybody knows,” Aubree told the Tribune. “Having been outed at 19 years old, I went from being the person who never kissed anyone, never wore a tank top, never had a Coke, to being called into the bishop’s office and being compared to a drug addict, a kleptomaniac and a person with anger issues.”

As NCRM’s Claude Summers explains, while “no one is forced to attend such a repressive institution (though, of course, many [students] experience enormous family and community pressure to attend the ‘Lord’s University.’)”

This notion is fueled by the fact that following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, Mormon policy was updated to label married same-sex couples as “apostates,” and to bar their children from baptism.

While the federal investigation into BYU’s negligence is ongoing, we know that from 2007 to 2014, Utah’s youth suicide rate nearly tripled. In January of this year, it was reported that a known 32 LGBT Mormons, aged 14-20, had committed suicide, and five more LGBT youth suicides were reported last month.

“I have been asked what I mean by word of honor,” a quote by Karl G. Maeser, considered BYU’s founder, reads on BYU’s Honor Code website. “I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls – walls of stone ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground – there is a possibility that in some way or another I may escape.”

“But stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the circle? No, Never!”

“I’d die first!”


Image: North Campus, Brigham Young University
Photo by Jaren Wilkey via Wikimedia and a CC license

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him



The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.


Continue Reading


Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run



U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

Continue Reading


Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow



Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.