A federal investigation has been launched into the treatment of LGBTQ students at Brigham Young University (BYU) in the United States.
The college, which is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is believed to have enforced disciplinary measures and punishments against same sex couples, despite formally relaxing it’s ban on LGBTQ + rules in recent years.
In 2020, the ban on “homosexual behaviour” was removed from the college’s rules, resulting in many LGBTQ students coming out about their sexuality.
However, the school has now confirmed that the ban still stands, even though it isn’t written in the honour code.
Under "university policies" it says that students should: "Live a chaste and virtuous life, including abstaining from any sexual relations outside a marriage between a man and a woman."
The privately-owned university is based in Utah and does not have to abide by the usual legislation granted by the Department of Education due to it's religious stature.
BYU has doubled-down on their processes following the launch of the investigation, saying that they are well within their rights.
Last year, students covered the school's large "Y" sign in LGBTQ+ pride flags and colours in protest against the ban.
The school has a number of other strict rules, including a ban on coffee and tea. Men are not allowed to wear sleeveless or form-fitting shirts, or have beards. Women are not allowed to wear dresses or skirts above the knee,
They faced further controversy this week when a BYU professor was charged with two further counts of sex abuse, taking the total number of alleged victims to seven.
It’s reported Michael James Clay, 47, used “ecclesiastical abuse” to carry out his alleged crimes.