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Same Sex Romantic Behavior

On March 4, 2020, the Church Educational System Commissioner sent the following letter as guidance and clarification on the following Honor Code principle: Live a Chaste and virtuous life, including abstaining from any sexual relations outside a marriage between a man and a woman.

Accompanying this letter, the Honor Code Office Director, Kevin Utt provided a Q&A. Portions of that Q&A are included below.

Letter from Elder Paul V Johnson

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Elder Johnson in his letter counsels, “Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.” Therefore, any same-sex romantic behavior is a violation of the principles of the Honor Code.

  • One of the Honor Code principles states: “Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code.” Encourage is not synonymous with “turn someone in.” Encourage is an action that means to give support, confidence or hope to someone. We are all members of the BYU community—thousands of people coming together to develop faith, intellect and character, and we should always reach out in love and support to those around us.

  • The Honor Code Office does not work with students’ ecclesiastical leaders, nor does it weigh in on endorsement decisions made by ecclesiastical leaders.

Members of the BYU community seeking additional understanding regarding the implications of this guidance should reach out to the Honor Code Office at 801.422.2847 or email

Members of the BYU community seeking resources or support in abiding by this aspect of the Honor Code are invited to reach out to the Office of Belonging. Meetings with advisors in the Office of Belonging are kept confidential, so no information is shared with the HCO.