Students light BYU ‘Y’ in rainbow colors

Mar 5, 2021, 9:57 AM | Updated: 10:00 am

PROVO, Utah — A group of around 40 BYU students and supporters of “Color the Campus” climbed Provo’s Y Mountain to light the school’s iconic 380-foot Y in rainbow colors on Thursday night in an act to show their support for LGBTQ+ students on campus.

The organizers said the event wasn’t to protest, but rather to show support and love for those who may feel isolated.

“They want to be seen, recognized and acknowledged,” Tayler Pace with the student-led Color the Campus initiative told KSL TV. “They want to be validated.”

Color the Campus

The event was organized by BYU senior Bradley Talbot as part of Color the Campus’ “Rainbow Day” that comes one year after the private school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified their updates to the school’s Honor Code in a letter released to students.

“This wasn’t a protest. It was mostly just to say we’re here, we belong,” said Provo’s Joshua Warden. “We’re part of this community, this school, this church. We are here. We belong. We wanted to shine a light on that. It’s not just black and white, there is a whole spectrum of colors that we belong to. The Lord made the rainbow, and we’re part of that.”

Church clarifies Honor Code policy on same-sex behavior, says its ‘not compatible’ with rules

“We remember what’s happened and we want to overwhelm the world with love today on a particularly difficult day,” Talbot said.

Honor Code updates mark one year

The update to the Honor Code for students that attend Church Educational System schools last March removed language specifically relating to “homosexual behavior,” and updated the language to encompass the church’s stance on chastity.

The change led many to wonder if the removal of that language signaled a change to the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships.

“The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code,” Elder Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the church educational system, said in a statement at the time.

“There is and always has been more to living the Lord’s standard of a chaste and virtuous life than refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage.

Sexual purity is an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness. Sexual relations are reserved for a man and woman who are married and promise complete loyalty to each other. Sexual relations between a man and woman who are not married, or between people of the same sex, violate one of our Father in Heaven’s most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress. People of any sexual orientation who violate the law of chastity can be reconciled with God through repentance. As followers of Christ, we resist immoral behavior and strive to become like Him.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Flashlights don’t meet the elements of vandalism”

While the BYU campus includes the Y Mountain, and the school issued a tweet on Thursday night saying that Color the Campus did not seek prior approval, it appears no one will face charges.

BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long told the Daily Universe they had received three calls about the BYU Y  rainbow lights, but said they didn’t respond because, “no crime was committed.”

“Flashlights don’t meet the elements of vandalism,” Long told the school paper.

“The biggest thing I hope people get out of this is this isn’t a divisive type of thing, that you’re either LDS or Christian, gay or queer,” Pace said. “It’s I think we can all live harmoniously. It’s possible.”


Rainbow Y caps off day of activities at BYU

The lighting of the Y above the BYU campus in rainbow colors was the conclusion of events on campus connected to Color the Campus. 

Earlier in the day, students donned rainbow-colored makeup, clothes and accessories to support the queer community. They gathered in Brigham Square, outside the Wilkinson Student Center, handing out rainbow-themed stickers, masks and other items, but kept the small gathering spread out to observe COVID-19 safety protocols. 

Another small group showed up to counter-protest the event, holding umbrellas and wearing BYU gear, according to the BYU Daily Universe

Campus officials removed flyers apparently advertising the counter-protest earlier in the week. The flyers featured a rainbow-colored “Y” in the middle of the word “raYnbow,” over stick figures holding an umbrella. They read, “Has the raYnbow got you seeking shelter from the storm?” The umbrella bears the phrase “FamProc” in reference to the church’s The Family: A Proclamation to the World issued in 1995.

The university said it took down the flyers because they were not approved. 



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Avalanche danger is considerable in the Northern Mountains today....
Mark Jones

What is the cause in the spike of avalanches in Utah?

Dave & Dujanovic discuss why there have been so many avalanches in the state this year and just how forceful they can be.
1 day ago
Phil Conder prepares sand bags in Midvale, Utah, on March 17, 2023. Utahns are preparing for possib...
Mark Jones

Is it too soon to prepare for flooding? Sandbags being prepared

Salt Lake County is preparing for potential flooding later this spring with sandbags. The county's emergency management Director joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss the situation.
1 day ago
police at ogden high school pictured after utah school shooting hoax...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

A former SLCPD officer discusses how police respond to copycat situations

Copycat situations are common following a school shooting such as the one that occurred in Tenneesse earlier this week. A former SLCPD talks to KSL NewsRadio how police respond.
1 day ago
An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriag...
Waverly Golden

Online marriage licensing gets the attention all over the world

An online marriage licensing portal has grabbed the attention of Israel, where historically marriage is controlled by the Rabbinate.
1 day ago
Theb Utah Highway Patrol says three people died Wednesday afternoon following a two-vehicle crash i...
Samantha Herrera

Three people killed in two-vehicle crash on US-89 in Logan Canyon

US-89 is closed in Logan Canyon due to a crash. The Utah Highway Patrol says three people have died. The UHP says a Kia Rio crossed into oncoming lanes.
1 day ago
ogden high school pictured, it was a victim of a utah school shooting hoax...
Adam Small

Ogden High School community reacts to active shooter hoax

Ogden High School was one of several schools that got a call about an active shooter, leading law enforcement to lock the school down.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Students light BYU ‘Y’ in rainbow colors