A critic of the Mormon church is appalled that homosexual behavior is being applauded at Brigham Young University.
Matt Easton was the valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at the Provo, Utah, school. During his speech – pre-approved by BYU officials – the 24-year-old Mormon "came out" to the applause and admiration from fellow students and stated "I am proud to be a gay son of God." On Friday he tweeted the following:
"During my time at BYU, I have slowly come out to my closest family members and friends. However, this is the first time I have publicly declared it. I felt it was important to share both for myself and for the LGBTQ+ community at BYU."
"While I don't speak for everyone – my own experience is all I can vouch for – I hope that people know that we ARE here at BYU, and we're not going anywhere anytime soon."
The Associated Press points out that in recent years the Mormon church "has changed its stance on the issue of homosexuality. It said in 2016 that homosexuality itself is not a sin, and that LGBTQ members have a valued place. This month, the church reversed policies banning baptisms for children being raised by homosexuals."
OneNewsNow spoke with Tricia Erickson, the daughter of a Mormon bishop who left the movement and has written several books on Mormonism. She contends that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "have a problem [discerning] the truth" and "really don't know God."
"They know only what they're taught from the brainwashed Mormon leaders who are in the church headquarters in Salt Lake City," she continues. "Whatever they say is supposed to be received basically as their word of god [which] really comes from the false prophet."
Erickson argues that the bottom line for those leaders is money. "They want tithe-paying members," she says. "They don't want to insult the public if they're going to become members of their church. They want their tithings. They want the tithings of every person they can pull into that cult."
Regarding the issue of homosexuality, BYU's Honor Code policy says the school "will respond to homosexual behavior rather than feelings or attraction." It states the following:
"One's stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings."