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LGBTs vs. First Amendment: The Fight for Religious Freedom Ratchets
FILE - This April 20, 2016, file photo, protesters stand in solidarity with rape victims on the campus of Brigham Young University during a sexual assault awareness demonstration, in Provo, Utah. Several Utah police officials are joining in calls to change Brigham Young University's practice of investigating students who have reported being sexually assaulted for violations of the school's strict code of behavior. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

LGBTs vs. First Amendment: The Fight for Religious Freedom Ratchets

Take heed, America. The LGBT-BYU fight over Big 12 entrance isn't about football or equal rights so much as about the 1st Amendment and religious freedom.

Tread carefully, America.

The skirmishes around the nation centered on rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are not really about rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

They’re about the decimation of the First Amendment and the destruction of traditional family. And the latest local battle to drive a wedge in the national norm is in Utah, where 25 groups dedicated to advancing the LGBT rights’ movement have signed on to a letter urging the Big 12, which is considering a team expansion, to turn a blind eye on Brigham Young University.

Of the Mormon school, the coalition wrote:

“[BYU] actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff. In fact, through its policies, BYU is very clear about its intent to discriminate against openly LGBT students, with sanctions that can include suspension or dismissal for being openly LGBT or in a same-sex relationship. … Given BYU’s homophobic, biphobic and transphobic policies and practices, BYU should not be rewarded with Big 12 membership.”

But that’s typical special interest-driven bunk.

BYU, a private facility in Provo that’s owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does in fact have policies regarding homosexual relations. It also has them – and curious, but the coalition’s letter doesn’t speak to this – for heterosexuals. In fact, the school’s honor code, which speaks to the need of students and staff to “demonstrate in daily living on and off-campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” is specific in its expectations for everybody who attends. It requires all BYUers to “be honest,” to live a chaste and virtuous life,” and to “participate regularly in church services.”

It doesn’t even allow them to swear – or drink coffee or caffeinated tea.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

It’s in the context of discussing the do’s and don’ts of proper BYUer behaviors that homosexuality is brought up, in a special section that makes clear: “Homosexual behavior is inappropriate.”

But before cracking the “see, I told you so” whip wielded by the rabidly pro-LGBT rights’ crowd, read a little bit more. Simply professing same-sex attraction is not a code violation.

“One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue,” the policy reads. “[BYU] will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction.”

That means an honor code violation is only given in those instances when students or staffers act on those sexual attractions. But here’s the part the LGBT agenda-drivers conveniently overlook and ignore: BYU’s sex-based prohibitions apply equally to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals.

In other words: the honor code demands chastity for all unmarried students and staffers, no matter their sexual preferences.

If the whole LGBT movement is aimed at demanding and receiving equal rights and equal treatment – at getting the same types of societal benefits as heterosexuals – then the reaction to BYU’s honor code should be this: Mission accomplished. But it’s not. And that’s because the LGBT community’s clamor for rights at choice spots around the nation in recent months has little to do with justice and equality and everything to do with destroying societal roots, norms and standards.

In 2012, lesbian activist Masha Gessen said in a speech “it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist” and that sanctioning a man and a woman as the legal caretakers of children is ridiculous.

In 2013, the far-left Nation published opinions from LGBT activists Tamara Metz and Amber Hollibaugh who said, respectively, the next step for the movement was to “disestablish marriage” and to “queer” the country’s economy.

“I want a LGBTQ movement that queers the reality of Walmart line jobs, sex work and homeless shelters,” Hollibaugh wrote.

And in 2016, the Huffington Post’s “Queer Voices” section blasted this headline in a story about offering stock photographs of gays to wire services like Getty: “Redefining the ‘Traditional’ American Family in 7 Stunning Images.”

Meanwhile, the battle over bathroom genders goes on, with entities from the White House to Target retail demanding men dressed as women be given access to female facilities, and vice versa. But this BYU battle is a First Amendment religious freedom hit in disguise. What the coalition of LGBT groups is in effect saying in their letter is that Christian-based organizations have a right to their religious beliefs – so long as those religious beliefs don’t conflict or oppose the LGBT agenda. And they’re trying to steamroll that belief into the common culture via the sports world. Americans, particularly those of Christian faith and patriotic bent, take heed. BYU today; the local church tomorrow.

Cheryl Chumley, a writer, speaker and journalist, is the author of the 2016 release, “The Devil in D.C.: Winning Back the Country From the Beast in Washington,” available now on Amazon, and of “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality.” She may be reached at ckchumley@aol.com or through her blog, cherylchumley.blogspot.com, or at Twitter @ckchumley.

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