Guest post by Jennifer Knapp. I am a lesbian and I am a Christian. Long before I recognized my sexual orientation, I recognized my intrinsic value as a human being. It was my faith that helped me to do this.
The students featured in a video about being gay at Brigham Young University are not in obvious violation of the honor code, according to Carri Jenkins, an assistant to the president of BYU.
Jenkins went on to say that for the video alone, the students would not be punished. The honor code, Jenkins said, is “based on conduct, not on feeling, and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue.”
Students from a strict Mormon college that prohibits “homosexual behavior” have launched a Web video aimed at reassuring other gay and lesbian youth struggling with their faith and sexual orientation.
The video recently posted to YouTube by 22 Brigham Young University students is the first of its kind with ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids gay sex and marriage. By posting the video, the students could face excommunication from the church and expulsion at BYU, where gay students are prohibited from touching or kissing.
On April 4, Brigham Young University’s Provo campus held a one and a half hour forum titled “Everything you wanted to know about homosexuality but were too afraid to ask,” sponsored by BYU’s sociology department in coordination with a few sociology and psychology classes. Openly lesbian and devout Latter-day Saint Bridey Jensen, a student at BYU, was part of the panel. She said, “Both of these things are just a fundamental part of me that I never chose […] Just because I accept [that I am gay] doesn’t mean I believe in the gospel any less."
Last fall, Muslims for Progressive Values, an American reformist organization, gathered from around the country to celebrate the growth of membership. In less than five years, the group had grown from a few friends to a thousand members and spawned a string of small mosques and spiritual groups that stretched from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
In light of Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan's comments directed at the LGBT community, Joseph Amodeo resigned from the Executive Committee of the Junior Board of Catholic Charities today. He wrote: "By this action, I seek not to disparage the work of Catholic Charities, but to voluntarily remove myself as a leader with an organization under the pastoral leadership of Dolan."
When DeLaSalle senior Matt Bliss heard rumors that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis planned to hold a mandatory school assembly to talk about marriage, and potentially gay marriage, he remembers thinking, "This is not going to end well." He was right.