President of homophobic university to address Holyrood

For immediate release 15 June 2011

The address for today's "Time For Reflection" at the Scottish Parliament will be given by Cecil Samuelson, President of Brigham Young University, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormons. The University's 'Honor Code' states that "Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings."

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Mr Samuelson should never have been invited to address the Scottish Parliament, given he leads an institutionally homophobic academic institution. Contrary to the position he holds, there is nothing dishonourable about loving another man or another woman, and the idea that a university might expel students for feeling otherwise is utterly outdated and absurd. Parliament is an institution for the whole of Scotland, and this platform must never again be given to someone with this kind of attitude to Scotland's gays and lesbians.

"Just this month, Brian Souter received a knighthood despite being the prime mover behind the equally homophobic 'Keep The Clause' campaign a decade ago. An overt racist would be given neither kind of honour - in fact the merest hint of racism or sectarian behaviour is regularly enough for someone to lose their job. What is unique about this particular prejudice that means so many in authority fail to take it seriously? It's time for Scotland to grow up, and to stand up to all forms of bigotry and prejudice alike."