The U.S. Department of Education has opened a civil-rights investigation into how LGBTQ students are disciplined at Brigham Young University, a private religious school.
The complaint under investigation came after the school said it would still enforce a ban on same-sex dating even after that section was removed from the written version of the school’s honor code, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Students can be punished for holding hands or kissing someone of the same sex, harsher discipline than that faced by heterosexual couples at the school operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
BYU removed its written ban on “homosexual behavior,” in early 2020, prompting students to publicly come out as members of the LGBTQ community. But the school clarified a few weeks later that same-sex dating is still prohibited, even if it’s no longer expressly written in the honor code. It also bans things such as alcohol consumption, beards and piercings.
Students protested the apparent reversal, saying they felt tricked into coming out. The federal investigation from the department’s Office for Civil Rights started late last year under Title IX, the law that protects against discrimination on the basis of sex in schools.