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For comparison, the Soulforce website has this account of their visit to West Point.

Hm. I think the author of that article forgot to mention that West Point is a closed post. Nobody, regardless of their stance on matters GLBT, gets to wander around there.

FWIW, I think WP got that status after 911.

It does seem that Mormons, of all people, would have an interest in pardoning the dead. ;) I'm glad BYU didn't kick them out.

See, I think there's a significant question about whether they actually violated the Honor Code text as quoted in the Tribune. It seems that Kulisch telling the media he is gay comes closest, but I don't see how the protests are necessarily advocating a "homosexual lifestyle".

That's a nice point, D-Train. I imagine that, to a BYU administrator, arguing that GLBT folks should be free from "religious and political oppression" (to borrow Soulforce's phrase) is hard to distinguish from "advocating a homosexual lifestyle." But plainly they are different: people with no interest and even little sympathy for a homosexual lifestyle might nevertheless think they should be full citizens or enjoy the same civil and personal rights that other citizens do.

However, in a BYU disciplinary hearing, I suspect such distinctions matter considerably less than the "inspired" feelings of the administrator conducting the hearing. Does anyone know whether the students have commented on the details of their disciplinary hearings? I assume they received hearings rather than just getting a letter in the mail announcing they were now on probation.


I don't think it's quite that simple. Soulforce wraps itself in the frabic of civil rights to advocate a lifestyle clearly at odds with the Restored Gospel. And, the BYU students participating here, did more than advocate gays should be free from "religious and political" oppression. They knowingly broke the law, and were actually arrested, see here.

Soulforce's own website clearly advocates gay sexual relationships, including gay marriage, by decrying those groups and organizations which oppose that conduct, see here.

I think the BYU decision was fair. As I suggested in my original post, I never thought the BYU 5 should be expelled; however, I thought, and still think a reasonable case, supported by actual conduct, can be made that the BYU 5 went out of their way to advocate on behalf of a group which clearly advocates a sexual lifestyle directly opposed by the LDS Church.

By extension I believe this "conduct" (the die in protest) violated even the vague and ambiguous honor code provisions. Hence BYU was justfied in their response.


Your point is reasonable, but I can't help but think that it allows for too much ambiguity. Suppose, for example, that I'm a member of a political party which advocates civil unions. Is this the same thing? In practical terms, it isn't going to be considered the same way. I think Dave is right that the basic consideration isn't any real appeal to the facts, but whether the action in question "smells bad" to an administrator. That is what it is and I do think that most BYU students do or should understand that they'll be treated that way when they decide to go, but it's reason number five thousand and one why I'd never touch the place with a ten foot pole.

And I should note that I know this happens at other schools, but it seems to be a lot worse at BYU than at most other places.

Guy: "They knowingly broke the law, and were actually arrested" well that settles it...

I wonder if there's a way to "forum shop" for a softer or more friendly administrator for your disciplinary hearing?

Lawyers do it all the time.

D-Train: I agree there is ambiguity in the BYU honor code, just as there is ambiguity in many, if not all laws on the books all over the country--otherwise the legal profession would likely grind to a halt. I'm sure BYU's honor code could use some improvement; but, it seems that at least in this case, the provisions were clear enough that the other 29,995 (give or take) of the BYU student body understood it well enough not to "die in" as did the BYU 5.

Again, I'm pleased they were not expelled. I'm equally pleased there were some consequences for their actions. I also agree, BYU is not a university for everybody.

APJ: I'm sorry, I'm not clever enough to know from your comment whether you agree, disagree or fall somewhere in between.

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