Tuesday, April 11, 2006


So yesterday and today, Soulforce's Equality Ride (a tour to various religious and military universities aimed at confronting administrators and students about GLBT policies) came to BYU. I had wanted to go see events unfold out of curiosity, but completely forgot and went to work instead.

I must say, I'm a little bit confused about the whole thing. All emotion aside, BYU is a private school. Do I agree with all their policies? Not really. But the instant I decided to go there, I agreed to abide by them, knowing that if I didn't it would be well within their right to kick me out.

By law, as a private school, they can pretty much require anything they want, just like all other private schools. If they wanted all their students to wear red and hop on one foot, they could. Would everyone agree with it and like it? Not really. Is it within BYU's rights? Absolutely.

From a dispassionate standpoint, I think that both groups went about this thing all wrong.

BYU's administration should have granted Soulforce a meeting with them and showed the good example of having respectful dialogue, even if people don't necessarily agree.

Soulforce should have realized that, by abiding by BYU's public demonstration rules (which genuinely are the same no matter what group comes up on campus), they wouldn't have been escorted off campus, and they would have been able to have dialogue with the students that were interested in talking to them. Why shout out your message to those who aren't interested when you can speak out your message to those who are?

Also, it would probably help if they researched LDS history and policies a little more- much of what was stated about the church on their site is untrue, and it would seem to me that anyone runs the risk of alienating their target audience if they misrepresent that audience's beliefs.

Oh well. I had hoped this would have gone a little bit better. It would have been nice to see an open-minded and respectful dialogue from both sides.


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