As reported by the Deseret News, a written statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been given from spokesman Doug Andersen in response to a rally outside the Church Office Building. The rally came after many tumultuous days of conversation and confusion regarding Brigham Young University and its policies regarding same-sex relationships and behavior from students.
The statement reads:
“The teachings of the Church and the policies of our universities are consistent with eternal principles and seek to encourage and strengthen relationships that lead to eternal covenants made with God. The Church and its leaders continue to teach that though there may be disagreement on an issue or policy, we should treat one another with love, respect, and kindness.”
Brigham Young University is a private institution owned by the Church and operated by the Church Educational System. Students who attend sign an honor code, which requires students to adhere to the moral standards lived by members of the Church.
After the university updated its honor code to remove a section regarding “homosexual behavior,” many LGBTQ students and their allies were hopeful the change signified the open expression of same-sex relationships would be permitted on campus. As the news made national headlines, Elder Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, clarified “same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles in the honor code.”
Students, allies of the LGBT community, and school officials continue to discuss the hotly-contested issue.