Mormon school to allow same-sex partners in ballroom event

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Brigham Young University will allow same-sex couples to compete in a national ballroom dance competition hosted by the school, a move that goes against the institution’s code against gay relationships, officials said.

BYU was required to lift its ban on same-sex couples competing in the U.S. National Amateur DanceSport Championships, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The Provo university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has hosted the competition since at least 1997.

The change goes against BYU’s Honor Code. The university does not allow men to dance together in its own classes despite being a renowned school for ballroom dance.

The National Dance Council of America revised its policy in September under the threat of a lawsuit and public pressure to allow “same-sex/gender neutral couples” to compete alongside opposite-sex couples in all of the organization’s events.

In order to hold the March 2020 competition, BYU will be required to abide by the new rules.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said in an email that “in consultation with the leadership of the National Dance Council of America, it was determined that the magnitude of the competition at BYU warranted a full sanction, which requires adherence to all NDCA rules and regulations.”

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