This is just silly.
The group's name is Soulforce and they made a similar visit to BYU in Provo last year. Suffice it to say, the news media reported that it was they, Soulforce, who caused a disturbance, NOT BYU. The following statement is from a recent edition of the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah's "liberal" newspaper:
Soulforce Equality Riders were allowed on BYU's campus last year to speak with students individually, but administrators warned they would be escorted away if they attempted to assemble and use the campus as a public forum.I think it's incredibly disrespectful for them to set aside BYU's courtesy in allowing them to come onto campus. I think that their attempt at "civil disobedience" probably lost them ground instead of moving them forward. What are they trying to do?
Several Equality Riders let administrators know they intended to break school policies and subsequently were arrested for civil disobedience.
BYU administrators said Monday they will not allow a repeat performance.
As far as I know, neither BYU nor BYU-I holds anti-gay rallies. They don't teach hate or discrimination.
While I have some respect for the gay movement, the respect comes from the American mantra that people should be allowed to live their lives according to their own desires without fear of retribution. If the gay movement is asking for tolerance, why then, are they intolerant of religion? Soulforce's mission, according to their website, is:
[T]o open a dialogue about the painful consequences of discrimination and the religion-based prejudice that sustains it.To me, this basically says, "To force a dialogue, by flouting rules and showing no respect, about how religionists are bigots." How can the gay and lesbian community ask for tolerance, while at the same time showing no respect for the way the way in which the religious community wishes to live? Plus, as a liberal Mormon, I'm offended at being called a bigot.
I'm a convert, and at no point has anyone asked me to be homophobic, bigoted, or discriminatory. In fact, I've been taught the opposite: I've been taught to love, to feel compassion for, and to treat all people the way I want to be treated. So, if this ethic is inherent in the Church, why is Soulforce coming? They are coming because we teach that homosexuality is a violation of God's plan for His children. We teach religious doctrine, not political activism. We teach people, that, if they believe the principles of our Church are true, then they have the choice to follow those principles — one of which is to live a heterosexual lifestyle.
I've been attending BYU-I for a while now, and it has been my experience that the vast majority of religion professors teach religious principles, not discrimination, hate or bigotry. Any experiences contrary are surely to be rare and in the minority.
Let me conclude this tirade: I'm not asking Soulforce to tolerate inequality, discrimination or hate. But, I do ask Soulforce to allow me to live my religion. Just as homosexuals feel that their sexual orientation is not something they practice — it is something inherent within them; my faith is who I am.
I won't trade my faith for their sexuality. I will gays and lesbians just as I treat hetero's, with a little 'bit of sarcasm and spite.