Metro Weekly

Mormon student says “f****ts go to hell” while ruining LGBTQ chalk art

Brigham Young University has condemned the student's actions, saying there is "no place for hateful speech" on its campus

mormon, brigham young,byu, lgbtq, chalk, art, mural
Connor Ray Murray, a Brigham Young University student, washing away LGBTQ chalk art — Images: Screenshots / Twitter

A student at Mormon-affiliated Brigham Young University was filmed trying to wash away an LGBTQ mural while saying, “F****ts go to hell.”

The university, which is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, condemned the actions of the student, who was later identified as Connor Ray Murray, LGBTQ Nation reports.

In video of the incident shared to Twitter, Murray can be seen pouring water over chalk murals at the south entrance to BYU’s campus.

The murals were created as part of an event last week to show support for the university’s LGBTQ students, after a series of anti-LGBTQ incidents.

One of the people filming Murray asks him if he’s “feeling a little less homophobic” as he finishes pouring his water.

“Oh, no, faggots go to hell,” he responds.

After footage of the incident was shared to social media, Murray was quickly identified on both Facebook and LinkedIn. Both of those profiles later became inaccessible.

BYU responded to the video in a series of tweets, saying, “We unequivocally condemn behavior and language that is disrespectful and hurtful. There is no place for hateful speech, or prejudice of any kind, on our campus or in our community.

“The Honor Code explicitly states that each member of the BYU community has the obligation to respect others. The incident seen in a video circulating on social media is now under review,” the university wrote.

“This behavior runs counter to the directives shared by President Worthen in his University Conference address Monday. We are striving to create a community of belonging composed of students, faculty and staff whose hearts are knit together in love. Every student and individual on our campus deserves to feel that belonging.”

The chalk art event was intended to rally support for BYU’s LGBTQ community, after Mormon Elder Jeffrey R. Holland issued a call to arms to defend the church against same-sex marriage.

Holland spoke at BYU last week, urging staff and faculty to take up their intellectual “muskets” to defend “the doctrine of the family and…marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

His comments were made at an event where BYU president Kevin Worthen announced an “Office of Belonging” to work against “prejudice of any kind, including that based on race, ethnicity, nationality, tribe, gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religious belief and sexual orientation.”

Lauren Rogers, who helped create the chalk art event, told BYU’s The Daily Universe that she was “deeply hurt” by Holland’s speech and wanted to show support for LGBTQ students and faculty.

In addition to Holland’s speech, earlier this year Hank Smith, a prominent assistant teaching professor in BYU’s religion department, apologized after calling a gay student a term associated with an anti-Christ.

In March, LGBTQ students at BYU illuminated a giant school sign in the colors of the Pride flag, in protest over guidance issued to students instructing them that homosexuality was incompatible with its teachings.

In February 2020, BYU removed a passage banning “all physical intimacy that give[s] expression to homosexual feelings” from the school’s Honor Code.

Its removal led to multiple LGBTQ students coming out or openly sharing affection with one another on campus, believing the school finally accepted them.

However, on March 4, 2020, BYU reiterated that, while it had removed the anti-gay passage from its Honor Code, gay people are still considered “not compatible” with the university’s “principles.”

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