Former assistant dean of Mormon university is an out and proud lesbian who thinks anti-gay policy is a ‘dumpster fire’
The former dean of a Mormon university has come out, and condemned a policy that bans same-sex relationships.
The Mormon-run Brigham Young University has faced weeks of controversy over LGBT+ issues, after lifting and then re-imposing the part of its code of conduct that bans “same-sex romantic behaviour.”
The student body at the university had initially celebrated the decision to lift the rule – before being caught off-guard by the U-turn. Violations of the policy can lead to expulsion of students and dismissal of staff.
Former Mormon university dean attacks ‘cruel’ anti-gay policy
Allison Phillips Belnap, who served as the assistant dean of the BYU law school, has now spoken out about the policy, sharing her own sexuality publicly for the first time.
She told ABC4: “I feel the need to speak out because I think I am uniquely positioned as someone who’s had a lot of experience from inside the organisation at BYU and has had a lot of close inner interaction with the administration at BYU to understand some of the things that are going on there.”
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Belnap explained that she has been aware of her own sexuality from a young age, but attempted to repress it, in line with church teachings – leading to multiple suicide attempts. Eventually, she left BYU and came out.
Attacking the university’s dithering over the issue of same-sex relationships as a “dumpster fire,” she said: “To engender that kind of hope, and then this feeling of ‘yeah, we can be acceptable, yes, we can belong somewhere’, and then to just sort of rip that away or rip that out from underneath someone, it’s cruel, it’s violent… I think it’s a horrific thing to do to somebody.”
Students are pushing back against anti-gay policy
She described the publicly-aired dissent within the student body as a pivotal moment for the school, adding: “I think there’s definitely a feeling of activism and I think there’s a feeling of, we’re not going to sit through this.
“I haven’t seen students gathering like this to make their voices heard in a way that that is this meaningful. I’m inspired by that. But I also think we can’t leave them alone in that.
“They need allies from the outside saying, you know, we’re with you, and you’re right in protesting this.”
If you are in the US and are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression, or just want to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. If you are in the UK, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected]