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Posted 01 Apr 2001   For week ended March 30, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 30Mar01

By Kent Larsen

BYU Suspends Two 'Chaste' Homosexuals

PROVO, UTAH -- Two men suspended for homosexuality by BYU criticized their suspensions in a Salt Lake Tribune article today. Richard "Ricky" Escoto and Matthew Grierson claim that they were suspended despite refraining from sexual encounters and say BYU chose to believe in alleged romantic encounters that they deny. BYU's suspension letters specify incidents in which both men allegedly had amorous contact with other men, or visited homosexual internet chat rooms.

Escoto says that he felt that the LDS Church's position on homosexuality was benevolent, and thought he was keeping the rules, "I figured as long as I remained chaste the church would welcome me." But, he says, he confided in a roommate about his "same sex issues" and was soon called into BYU's Honor Code Office and confronted with charges that he received gifts from other men, visited gay-oreinted chat rooms, went on dates with other men and was discovered "making out" with a man. Escoto denies all the charges but the Honor Code Office chose to believe roommates that Escoto calls "bigoted." "Their official stance is that they don't need further proof. They just need to determine it to be more probable or not."

Grierson withdrew from BYU, giving up a full academic scholarship, rather than face a two-semester suspension like Escoto. He was accused of kissing a man on campus and of holding a man's hand at a Provo mall, but he admits only to the latter. BYU would not release details of either man's case, nor comment on them, citing privacy laws and University policy.

The suspension letters sent to both men make it clear that BYU's view of behavior that violates the honor code is much more strict than they understood. The letters demand tha the men refrain from "inappropriate same-sex behavior, including but not limited to dating, holding hands, kissing, romantic touching, showering, clubbing, etc., as well as regular association with homosexual men." In addition, the letters require that the men meet with approved counselors and meet regularly with religious leaders. The letters also remind the men that it is "inappropriate for a BYU student to advocate for the [homosexual] lifestyle, speak or write papers for public consumption, demonstrate in a public forum, or advertise your same-sex preference in any other public way."


BYU Brass Suspend Two Gays
Salt Lake Tribune 29Mar01 D3
By Kirsten Stewart: Salt Lake Tribune

2 gay students at Y. are forced to leave
Deseret News (AP) 29Mar01 D2
Associated Press


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information