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Mormon university that bans ‘homosexual behaviour’ allows same-sex dancing for the first time

Lily Wakefield January 22, 2020
Mormon university

Same-sex dance partners will be able to compete for the first time in the competition at the Mormon university. (DANIEL GARCIA/AFP via Getty)

A Mormon university that bans “homosexual behaviour” will allow same-sex couples to dance on its campus for the first time ever.

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church.

BYU’s honour code prohibits “homosexual behavior”, and students can be expelled for not adhering to the code. 

It states: “One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity.

“Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code.

“Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

But this year, when the US National Amateur DanceSport Championships are held at the Utah campus March, the will be no limitations on the gender of partners dancing together.

The National Dance Council of America (NDCA) announced in September 2019 that it would be redefining the term “couple” in its rules to include people of any gender, including non-binary people.

The US National Amateur DanceSport Championships are held every year at BYU, but this will be the first year anything other than opposite-sex partners will be allowed.

If BYU did not abide by NDCA rules it would no longer have accreditation from the organisation, but its own rules do stipulate that “competitors must not be overly suggestive in their movements” and there are strict guidelines for keeping costumes modest.

In August 2019, It Chapter Two star Taylor Frey said that his experience of being gay at BYU was like “a witch hunt”.

He told Attitude: “It’s the most incredible tattle-tale society. It’s damaging and it’s hurtful because you can be kicked out of school based on lies and rumours.

“I feel this fire in my chest when I speak about it because it was such a scary time for me… I’m still trying to let it go.”

“It’s happened to a lot of people, some people weren’t allowed to have their credits transferred, some people were close to graduating and were kicked out and their degrees were withheld.

“That’s why it’s scary, especially for someone like me who wasn’t out of the closet yet. I was afraid that had these accusations gone forward I’d have had to to tell my parents what they were about. That was horrifying.

“It was almost like I was being dragged through the mud. It was a witch hunt.”

More: Brigham Young University, byu, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mormon, same-sex dance

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