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Soulforce faces resistance in Utah
Mother and son arrested at Brigham Young

by Kyle DeVries
PROVO, Utah — At Brigham Young University (BYU) on March 22, Mormon Equality Rider Kourt Osborn (pictured) and his mother, Karel Allen, were arrested in an attempt to deliver a list of concerns to the administration regarding BYU’s discriminatory policies against LGBT students. Current and former BYU students, gay and straight, submitted over 50 pages of concerns for the well-being of LGBT students at BYU.

Four of the riders were raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The BYU Student Honor Code states that “no one known to be guilty of overt and active homosexual conduct is to be enrolled or permitted to remain at Church Educational System (CES) campuses as students...”

Equality Riders spent an the previous day at Utah Valley State College leading presentations about sexual orientation and faith for community members, including Latter-Day Saints youth, and the evening with 50 BYU students discussing the reconciliation of the Church and LGBT individuals.

Melissa Pomeroy, a sophomore at BYU, shared her concern: “I feel like I’m all alone at BYU. There is no way for me to meet others like me, even just to talk, because everyone is so afraid of coming out.”

“We remain hopeful that the student leaders will continue this dialogue beyond our [Equality Ride] visit and that the administration will come to see the value in this discussion,” says BYU student and Soulforce participant Matt Kulisch.

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