Home News Students protest after honor code clarification

Students protest after honor code clarification

Editor’s note: Nate requested that only his first name be used in this article.

United, LGBTQ students and members of the community stood together to protest the announcement made by the Church Education System on March 4. The protest was to raise awareness of the LGBTQ community in Rexburg.

After hearing the announcement, students from BYU planned to protest, and news traveled quickly to students at BYU-Idaho.

Nate, a sophomore majoring in general studies, communicates often with these students from BYU on twitter. He said that because they were planning a protest at BYU, he would organize one at the same time at BYU-I.

“We just did it to be in solidarity with BYU,” Nate said. “Even though we are at different schools, we can protest at the same time, and we can show that people at both universities really want to see like palpable change that helps queer students fit in on campus.”

This group of students strives to achieve fairness and equality in the way they live their lives. Nate refers to a statement made by President Dallin H. Oaks when he talks about heterosexual and homosexual relationships being treated the same. Nate believes that this should be similar across the whole Church, including Church campuses.

“If it wouldn’t be something that a straight person would get in trouble for, then we don’t think it should be something that a gay person would get in trouble for,” Nate said.

Rose Klein, a junior studying art, expressed her feelings of hope and pain that accompany her protesting for equality in the recognition of her relationship.

Klein is a convert to the church of just one year. She joined the church because of their stance on the LGBTQ community. While she said she does appreciate the love the church has shown, she hopes for additional progress to be made so she can love the way she wants at the school she wants to attend.

“I am praying for our leaders, to say if any (straight) couple can hold hands, then any couple should be able to hold hands,” Klein said.

Alexa Arndt, a junior studying recreation management, also hopes for equality in who she chooses to love.

“You kind of feel like you have to choose between someone that you love and have these feelings for and a church that you also love and is a part of your entire life,” Arndt said.

Arndt hopes to achieve feeling welcome at BYU-I. She wants to be able to co-exist with the students here while also being able to enjoy her college experience.

As previously mentioned, this protest was in response to the letter from the CES. Grey Woodhouse, a member of the Rexburg LGBTQ community, said that this announcement from the church was like taking a step backward.

According to Woodhouse, after removing the words “homosexual” from the honor code, there was a rumor going around BYU that students were allowed to hold hands, kiss, date and do anything as long as it didn’t lead to marriage or a violation of the law of chastity. This inspired some students to come out, out of pure excitement for the changes made.

When the new announcement was released on Wednesday, Woodhouse felt as if they were given something that was then taken away. To express her pride, she joined with BYU-Idaho students for this protest.

“Right now, we are just paying respects to our LGBTQ community that’s gone through a little bit of whiplash these last two weeks,” Woodhouse said.

This protest started on Wednesday afternoon after the announcement was made. An additional protest was held March 4, with protests to continue on March 6, 9, 10 and 11. The group can be found on the corner of W 4th S and S 1st W St.

Nate reports that the protests have been successful so far. They have had a lot of people honk in response to a “honk if you support the gays” poster, and have had many people come up to talk to them and high five them. He hopes that the word will continue to spread and they will continue to attract support and fellowship.

“All children of God need to feel loved and respected regardless of who they are,” Nate said. “It is my belief as a religious person and as a gay person that God loves all of his children regardless of their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of their sex, regardless of their sexuality, regardless of their class, everything.”

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