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BYUQ’s Statement on Elder Holland’s 8/23/20 talk

TW: homophobia, conversion therapy, suicide

Today a much needed Office of Belonging was announced by President Worthen. In his announcement, he even included sexual orientation in the list of groups that this office would serve. However, in the same forum, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the quorum of the 12 and former BYU president, gave an extremely harmful talk. He spoke of the continuous “attack on marriage and family”, he encouraged BYU faculty, educators, and students, to blindly support these ideals. He claimed that the church is under fire from the community, rather than the other way around. The queer community does not attack the church, asking to be treated with love is not a threat. Meanwhile, the church practiced conversion therapy at BYU campus that resulted in the suicides of numerous of the students subjected to this torture. The church is not the victim here and to suggest such is gaslighting. Holland also attacked Matt Easton, the 2019 BYU grad that came out in his commencement speech. None of this is okay.

Unfortunately, as classes begin in a week, this talk will likely only fuel hate on campus and within the BYU community. As we begin the school year surrounded by hateful and false narratives, we wanted to remind you how loved each and everyone if you are. As the sign in the below picture says (from BYU Pride’s

event in June), all are alike unto God; and that truly means all, even if it may not feel like it right now.

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