Brigham Young University (BYU) dropped a section of their code of conduct concerning LGBTQ realtionships within the student body. This section banned “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”
Many on campus who identify as LGBTQ were celebrating the occasion. Yet, as probably should have been expected, the dropping of this section was not meant to allow same sex relationships on campus.
BYU clarified in a letter on Wednesday saying, “same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.”
Despite BYU students knowing full well (probably before they ever applied) that the Universtity is an explicitly Mormon institution, LGBTQ students and those who support them were outraged.
Many students protested the lack of reversal of the longstanding policy.
Addison Jenkins said BYU “does not care…about queer people.” Another student, Tiauna Lomax, objected to the Univerisity’s clarification saying, “I thought BYU cared about me.”
Some students held signs at the protest expressing similar grievances. One sign said, “Love One Another,” presumably referencing to the bible verse John 13:34-35. Another sign said, “love means love,” a common LGBTQ pride slogan.
Additionally, students who showed up to object to the protesting of the schools policy were shouted down. The protesters used chants like “Love, not hate, will make BYU great!” to keep the counter protesters from being heard.
The idea that BYU hates LGBTQ students, or that the school is being unloving or uncaring, is not in-line with the Unversity’s stated intent. In fact, the University has encouaged the exact opposite of hate towards LGBTQ students.
In a question and answer session about the clarification letter, Kevin Utt (director of BYU’s Honor Code Office) said,
“We realize that emotions over the last two weeks cover the spectrum and that some have and will continue to feel isolation and pain. We encourage all members of our campus community to reach out to those who are personally affected with sensitivity, love and respect.”
BYU is a private instution whose code of conduct is directly tied to the Church of Latter Day Saints’ (the Mormon church). This means that it is a private, religious institution.
Therefore, the University is clearly protected by the first amendment. They don’t neccessarily need to worry about a legal case being made against them.
Even without the threat of a legal case, though, students have insisted that the school hates gays. This assumption of hate has obviously not gone well for them in the press.
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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