Beginning on July 13, 2010, a discussion group was formed for BYU students, faculty, and friends who wish to foster improved understanding of same-gender attraction. The group meets weekly on BYU campus, but without endorsement or support from BYU. Join the Facebook group “Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA)”!
USGA is an unofficial group of Brigham Young University students, faculty, and friends who wish to strengthen families and the BYU community as a whole by providing accurate information about same-gender attraction. All too often, a lack of understanding has led families to reject their loved ones, or to blame themselves. We recognize that in our community there is no consensus about the causes of same-gender attraction. This is a scientific question on which the Church has no position . We seek to provide helpful information from Church publications, from professionals, and from individuals whose families have been affected personally, to enable students to respond to this issue in appropriate, compassionate, Christ-like ways.
Although BYU welcomes celibate same-gender-oriented students as full members of the university community , it is unfortunate that some feel unwelcome because of harsh attitudes of ill-informed peers. Some leave BYU and the Church because they feel there is no place for them here. Others maintain their faith but, because of a lack of openness about this topic, feel compelled to deny the reality of their same-gender orientation, which may lead them into ill-fated heterosexual marriages . We feel that in many cases these negative outcomes could be prevented if there were greater understanding, openness, and compassion.
We believe that open discussion and communication is sorely needed on this topic. We would therefore welcome BYU students, faculty, and friends of all viewpoints to join us in the weekly USGA meetings. In order to foster an environment of respect and understanding, we would simply ask all participants to be respectful of the Church, the Honor Code, and the beliefs and experiences of others.
Please note that USGA meets outside of any sponsorship, endorsement, or support by BYU.
We meet weekly on Thursday, 7:00pm, in 120 TMCB (or vicinity).
. In an interview with the Church Public Affairs staff, Elder Oaks stated, “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions — whether nature or nurture — those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.” (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction)
. “Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards.” (BYU Honor Code)
. “[R]ecognize that marriage is not an all-purpose solution. Same-gender attractions run deep, and trying to force a heterosexual relationship is not likely to change them. We are all thrilled when some who struggle with these feelings are able to marry, raise children, and achieve family happiness. But other attempts have resulted in broken hearts and broken homes.” (Elder Holland, “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction”, Ensign, Oct 2007)