NewsLocal News

Actions

Protests against BYU honor code carry into second day

Posted at 8:30 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 22:41:20-05

PROVO, Utah — For the second day in a row students on the campus of Brigham Young University protested for hours in the main quad of the campus.

The protest is over a clarification to the school’s honor code that once again asserts that homosexual behavior is not allowed on campus.

To read more about the clarification click here.

FOX 13 reached out to one former Assistant Dean of BYU’s Prestigious Law School who now works at a law firm in Salt Lake City.

Allison Phillips Belnap both attended and worked at BYU for a number of years and gave her perspective on the situation.

She started our interview by saying “My feelings on what has been going on are surprisingly strong.”

Belnap herself left both the school and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for personal reasons after coming out to her family.

She emotionally told her story saying “While I was at BYU towards the end of my time there, my depression which I’ve suffered with my entire life got worse and worse to the point where I experienced multiple suicide attempts and landed in the hospital… My husband who’s been married to me for 27 years, if he didn’t have to deal with the difficulty of the wife is coming out and leaving the church. If my kids didn’t have to deal with the idea of a mom who’s been mistaken women’s president and the dean at the BYU law school… So you get to the point where you think it will be easier for them and maybe not even that consciously… But it just seems like it’s a gift to everybody else to not have to deal with my differences.”

She also says that students currently at BYU protesting this honor code clarification could be facing something similar.

“My experience is mostly they’re just trying to get by, many of them are suicidal many are at risk in terms of mental health,” Belnap said. “I’m hoping that the next miracle is that by talking about it it’ll help other people who feel that same way.”

Above all, she told us she is speaking out because students could see her speak and know they are not alone.

As for the dissonance between the code and students, she told us “It’s a real quick yank of the leash saying get back in line and the message then is there’s not a place for you and that message to somebody who has described to a religion and believes that as a part of a guiding force to their life is extremely damaging.”