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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2022 Abstracts

Change within the Mormon Flagship University: How Recent LGBTQIA+ Issues at BYU Parallel the University’s Racial History

Presenter: Brianna Bratsman
Authors: Brianna Bratsman
Faculty Advisor: Rebecca de Schweinitz
Institution: Brigham Young University

The long-lasting legacies of BYU’s stance on race and its important role in the Church suggest the importance of examining LGBTQIA+ issues within the BYU context. The study of BYU’s tumultuous relationship with queer issues can provide a greater understanding of queer issues within the Church and the other conservative religious groups in the United States. When connected to the history of race at BYU, present LGBTQIA+ issues seem familiar: an echo of the past. Examining these parallels will provide insight into the Church’s current and future stance on sexuality and gender identity. I argue that BYU’s current relationship with LGBTQIA+ issues since 2007 heavily correlates to its relationship with race in the years leading up to the 1978 revelation. These parallels are examined through official BYU policies, statements, and devotionals; the national context and response; faculty voices, both in support and in opposition; and student voices through protests, newspapers, publications, and more recently, social media.