The BYU model

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Re "As gay vote looms, church-based Scouting draws interest" (, May 13):

When I was at Brigham Young University, then BYU President Dallin Oaks fought the federal government on student housing regulations. Because of BYU's religious mission, he rightly insisted that university-approved housing be segregated by sex. What he didn't do was insist that every university in the country follow BYU's rules.

That exemption is a good model for gays in America when it comes to religion. If a religion doesn't want gay youths in its Scout troops or gay men as adult Scout leaders, that should be that church's religious right. But it would be wrong to make other troops follow that religion-based rule.

Ditto for marriage. You have the right to do what you want in your religion, but not to insist that everyone else do it, too.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Boy Scouts, should model the example at Brigham Young University.

Steven Smith

Salt Lake City