Department of Education dismisses complaint against BYU gay dating ban
The Department of Education dismissed a Title IX complaint against Brigham Young University that alleged it discriminated against students involved in same-sex relationships.
Currently, any sexual relationship outside of “marriage between one man and one woman” is against the college honor code and a March 2020 letter by Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the Church’s educational system, states that “same-sex romantic behavior” is not permitted.
“Romantic behavior between people of the same sex cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not consistent with the principles of the honor code,” the letter states.
The Department of Education‘s Office for Civil Rights told Brigham Young University that the suit was dismissed on Tuesday, citing religious exceptions. Brigham Young University is a private institution sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Thursday, the university released a statement saying it expected the lawsuit would be dismissed because the department’s Office of Civil Rights “has repeatedly recognized BYU’s religious exemption for Title IX requirements that are not consistent with the religious principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The university also noted that the Civil Rights Office declared on January 3 that it was exempt from Title IX provisions “relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Kevin Worthen, president of Brigham Young University, wrote in a Nov. 19 letter to the Civil Rights Office that “the intersection of religious identity and LGBTQ identity, both at the institutional and individual levels , is complex and nuanced”.
“At BYU, where our religious mission is inextricably linked to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, we simultaneously stand firm in our religious beliefs and reiterate our love and respect for every member of our campus community,” Worthen wrote.