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Letter Clarifies Intent of Byu Honor Code Change


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6 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

The problem may remain unless the wording gets changed for the HCO.  HCO has but agents making determinations based on the written rules.  If there's nothing specific about say someone holding hands with another of the same sex while on campus, how is such an agent supposed to take action?  By personal preference?  I wouldn't have guessed that violating the principles of the HCO would get someone in trouble.  That could really get murky, nearly as murky is trying to determine if two people holding hands are friends or more than friends.  

Presumably, the “agents” in the honor code office now have the letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson to guide them. If they are worth their pay, they’ll familiarize themselves with the letter and won’t be giving out bad information anymore. 

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There are lots of people pointing fingers at students as if it was their fault for misunderstanding, or that they were wrong for wishful thinking, etc. - it would be helpful if the school acknowledged

Working to understand where these people are coming from rather than assigning them motives from my perspective (something that I felt led to do by the spirit) has been a really interesting and changi

Just caught up on this thread. Virtually everyone involved was foolish. The school for changing the code and not expecting anyone into read into it (anyone naive enough to think there would be no reac

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I knew this clarification would come. This should quell most confusion. The honor code didn't change, homosexual romantic behavior, in all forms is still prohibited. 

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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Presumably, the “agents” in the honor code office now have the letter from Elder Paul V. Johnson to guide them. If they are worth their pay, they’ll familiarize themselves with the letter and won’t be giving out bad information anymore. 

But if the honor code officers allow dating, hand holding, kissing, etc. between couples of the same sex on campus, it’s still in keeping with the removal of the prohibited homosexual behavior part and still following the letter as long as the couple isn’t planning on marriage.

i can see this being how they will handle it and how they can hopefully avoid bad PR or blowback now.

Edited by JulieM
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5 minutes ago, JulieM said:

But if the honor code officers allow dating, hand holding, kissing, etc. between couples of the same sex on campus, it’s still in keeping with the removal of the prohibited homosexual behavior part and still following the letter as long as the couple isn’t planning on marriage.

i can see this being how they will handle it and how they can hopefully avoid bad PR or blowback now.

I don't know what direction the honor code officers will be given; however, each individual knows what is expected and should act and live in that manner 

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34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I’m still not altogether clear on the reason for the removal of the wording in the first place, especially considering the confusion and misinterpretation that resulted as a consequence. It seems to me the university and the Church could have adopted “a more ministerial approach” while leaving the wording in place. It wasn’t hurting anything that I can see. 
 

But I do greatly appreciate having this clarification. Coupled with the talk that President Ballard gave yesterday at BYU, it should give us valuable guidance. 

I think the more the Church can generalize her statements, the greater attention can be drawn to principle, with a lessened, unintended effect of shaming and ostracizing of the faithful (versus feeling contrition, godly sorrow or repentant).

Edited by CV75
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10 minutes ago, JulieM said:

But if the honor code officers allow dating, hand holding, kissing, etc. between couples of the same sex on campus, it’s still in keeping with the removal of the prohibited homosexual behavior part and still following the letter as long as the couple isn’t planning on marriage.

i can see this being how they will handle it and how they can hopefully avoid bad PR or blowback now.

This is just bad logic, bad understanding, bad reasoning. The clarification states clearly that nothing changed and that homosexual romantic behavior is still against the honor code just as it was before. That includes dating and kissing by same sex peoples.

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7 minutes ago, Nacho2dope said:

I don't know what direction the honor code officers will be given; however, each individual knows what is expected and should act and live in that manner 

That will most likely vary from student to student maybe.  With the removal of the homosexual behavior as no longer prohibited by the honor code, many will believe it’s acceptable as long as they don’t marry (ie. that’s what “is expected”).  

Edited by JulieM
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51 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Information that would have been good to know 15 years ago, unless you don't think their were gay members of the Church in Canada. As soon as BYU changes the Church changes, other countries change, like Canada did well, figure it out on your own

You mean in regards to gay marriage laws?

I think the Church understands Canadians are intelligent enough to figure it out.  :)  BYU students obviously not so much.

Was there a lot of confusion expressed up there about the implications to the Law of Chastity when gay marriage became legal?

Edited by Calm
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5 minutes ago, Sunslight said:

This is just bad logic, bad understanding, bad reasoning.

That’s your opinion and I understand.  But if this is how the officers enforce the honor code (allowing homosexual behavior as long as there’s no intent to marry), same sex students will continue to openly date and show affection.  

Edited by JulieM
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The letter notes that, “Lasting joy comes when we live the spirit as well as the letter of God’s laws,” and comes one day after President M. Russell Ballard of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed students and reiterated from the Bible the two great commandments from the Lord — to love God by keeping his commandments, and to love your neighbor.

Marginalizing and persecuting people based on age, gender, nationality, religious preference, sexual orientation, or anything else is evil and horrifying,” he said.

 

I would imagine those with same sex attraction that simply want to date, hold hands, embrace, etc...all things heterosexuals can do at BYU and not be in any violation of some code, feel rather marginalized and possibly persecuted.

I agree with Elder Ballard. Such behavior is evil and horrifying.

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25 minutes ago, provoman said:

Thanks for this link. I found it very interesting. 
 

However, I still am unclear on how removal of the wording was necessary to make the honor code more compatible with the new handbook. In retrospect the action still seems ill-considered to me. 
 

Also, I note from the Q. and A that the honor code office does not routinely refer individuals to their ecclesiastical leaders. So I’m not clear on how removal of the wording favors “a more ministerial approach.”

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1 minute ago, Calm said:

You mean in regards to gay marriage laws?

I think the Church understands Canadians are intelligent enough to figure it out.  :)  BYU students obviously not so much.

Was there a lot of confusion expressed up there about the implications to the Law of Chastity when gay marriage became legal?

Some yes, I know there was when it came to the US as it related to Canada, I recall our Bishop having to read this letter and afterwards he said that where was the Church when this came to Canada? it seems the world is falling apart now that it came to the US (paraphrasing of course)

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23 minutes ago, Sunslight said:

I knew this clarification would come. This should quell most confusion. The honor code didn't change, homosexual romantic behavior, in all forms is still prohibited. 

Yes, you called it, Sunslight. 

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38 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Considering the tweet from the HCO, and the comments from the BYU spokesperson, and the Church's longstanding teachings on this subject, I think construing the removal of language specifically about proscribed behavior as authorization to engage in that proscribed behavior was pretty unreasonable.

I think the inability of the HCO employees to articulate what the removal meant in concrete terms led to significant ambiguity and that it took two weeks to address didn't help imo, but I assumed they figured it would be best if clarification came after a devotional that touched/focused? on it.

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1 minute ago, JulieM said:

That’s your opinion and I understand.  But if this is how the officers enforce the honor code (allowing homosexual behavior as long as there’s no intent to marry), same sex students will continue to openly date and show affection.  

Have you read the Q&A from the Honor code office? I will quote--

"Can members of our campus community who identify as LGBTQ or SSA be disciplined for going on a date, holding hands and kissing?
Elder Johnson in his letter counsels, “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.” Therefore, any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of the principles of the Honor Code."

Its pretty clear hear that dates, holding hands, and kissing is a violation of the principles of the honor code.

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5 minutes ago, Sunslight said:

Have you read the Q&A from the Honor code office? I will quote--

"Can members of our campus community who identify as LGBTQ or SSA be disciplined for going on a date, holding hands and kissing?
Elder Johnson in his letter counsels, “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.” Therefore, any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of the principles of the Honor Code."

Its pretty clear hear that dates, holding hands, and kissing is a violation of the principles of the honor code.

Do you have a link to the Q & A?  (Thanks!)

Was that just posted today with the letter?

Edited by JulieM
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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I suspect not

It would be an extraordinary stupid PR move if students were punished when acting after no concrete clarification was given.  I hope they are fast in making it clear no one will be punished for an honest mistake and no reports based on the behaviour of the past two weeks will be recorded, etc.

added:  and to make my position clear, I think it would be very wrong and unfair for the school to do this as well when the confusion came as much from BYU employees (the HCO employees and the BYU professor) as the students AND nothing was preventing at least an announcement of by BYU HCO or the administration that "no assumptions of changes should be made at this time, we are seeking clarification".

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Sadly, I think we can now anticipate some blowback from folks who jumped to unwarranted and/or unreasonable conclusions prior to this letter coming out.

-Smac

Or just blowback from people who were overtly misinformed by the Honor Code Office, people who were doing due diligence to clarify the confusion.

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32 minutes ago, JulieM said:

But if the honor code officers allow dating, hand holding, kissing, etc. between couples of the same sex on campus, it’s still in keeping with the removal of the prohibited homosexual behavior part and still following the letter as long as the couple isn’t planning on marriage.

Why would you think they allow it after the letter stated:

Quote

Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles in the honor code,”

Serious question, not a challenge.  Want to understand your reasoning.

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18 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think the more the Church can generalize her statements, the greater attention can be drawn to principle, with a lessened, unintended effect of shaming and ostracizing of the faithful (versus feeling contrition, godly sorrow or repentant).

But clearly it didn’t work in this instance. There was widespread misunderstanding, misinterpretation, even misdirection from people in the HCO (who should have known better) and at least one faculty member. And there is already resentment surfacing from individuals who are finding out they jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Well intended though it may have been, removal of the wording was clearly a misstep. 

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23 minutes ago, Duncan said:

it seems the world is falling apart now that it came to the US (paraphrasing of course)

Maybe it feels that way because you are on this board?  Was there any real discussion about it up in Canada?

The Church is ultimately in charge of BYU so it makes sense for the CES authority to respond to clarify as well as use the weekly devotional, but they could see that as keeping it limited to those affected by the confusion.

I do think there could be much better publication of international news.  The Church has its newsroom sites for each region, but little gets published in the Deseret News imo.  It is a local paper though ultimately, so I understand the market drives local stories and concerns.  I don't currently pay attention to the Church News, hope it does much more in terms of international news.

added:  doublechecked...it was a letter directed to BYU employees and students, not to Church members.  It was from the CES director or whatever his title is.  I don't see this as  churchwide action, but a targeted to BYU action by those in charge of BYU.

Edited by Calm
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8 minutes ago, Calm said:

It would be an extraordinary stupid PR move if students were punished when acting after no concrete clarification was given.  I hope they are fast in making it clear no one will be punished for an honest mistake and no reports based on the behaviour of the past two weeks will be recorded, etc.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. 
 

That said, those who are worried about pictures having been taken and so forth ought to have acted more wisely than to have rushed to engage immediately in such in-your-face behavior.
 

I can’t say that I’m altogether sympathetic for them. The letter from Elder Johnson seems self evident in retrospect: Same-sex romance cannot lead to eternal marriage, so how can it be compatible with honor code principles? 

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30 minutes ago, JulieM said:

That’s your opinion and I understand.  But if this is how the officers enforce the honor code (allowing homosexual behavior as long as there’s no intent to marry), same sex students will continue to openly date and show affection.  

Nobody is "allowing homosexual behavior as long as there’s no intent to marry."

Nobody.

-Smac

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14 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Or just blowback from people who were overtly misinformed by the Honor Code Office, people who were doing due diligence to clarify the confusion.

I think there needs to be some serious in-house training for HCO staff. And the professor who was in the video ought to be counseled. 
 

In retrospect, though, I wonder how highly placed the workers were in the HCO who were giving out the bad information. We’re they merely students working part time in the office answering phones and what not? Where was the supervision?

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