PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – The lead singer of Imagine Dragons is calling on BYU to “celebrate your LGBTQ students” after the university’s Y was lit in rainbow colors Thursday night.
The Y mountain near BYU was illuminated in rainbow colors to mark the one-year anniversary since the LGBTQ+ acceptance movement was ignited after a change to the honor code regarding homosexual behavior.
In February 2020, BYU announced changes to the Honor Code after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new online handbook. Those changes included removing a section of the Honor Code called “Homosexual Behavior.”
Questions immediately arose on what the change meant.
In early March 2020, the Church and university sent a clarification letter, reading in part:
“One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on ‘Homosexual Behavior.’ The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code.
“Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code.”
The response drew students to gather on the campus in protest, with some carrying signs and chanting “Love, “Love, Not Hate–That’s what makes BYU great!” and “We are here. We are queer!” The protest went on for a few hours.
On Thursday, ABC4 was told that some students wore rainbow T-shirts to school to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to the Y being lit up.
BYU responded to the Y being illuminated in rainbow colors on Twitter, saying, “BYU did not authorize the lighting of the Y tonight.”
The university continued in another tweet, saying, “The Y is BYU property and any form of public expression on university property requires prior approval.”
Later that night, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds and former student at BYU, took to Twitter to call on the university to take this as “an opportunity for you to celebrate your LGBTQ students.” He continues, saying, “you call it vandalism, I call it divine intervention.”
Reynolds recently partnered with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith to donate $4 million to Utah-based non-profit Encircle, which provides mental health and other services to 70,0000 LGBTQ youth and their families.
Reynolds also donated his $1 million childhood house, which is slated to be the first Encircle location in Las Vegas.