‘Gay Chicken’ Skit Sparks Backlash From Brigham Young University Students

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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  • The Stanford University band performed a halftime skit featuring a lesbian marriage during its game against Brigham Young University.
  • This is the second time Stanford has been accused of mocking Brigham Young University during a halftime show.
  • “They wouldn’t do this to any other school, but this is the second time they’ve done it to us,” Reagan Sumrall, a Brigham Young University student, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Brigham Young University students are upset after Stanford University’s band performed a skit using language from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to depict gay marriage during Saturday night’s football game, the Daily Universe Sports reported.

The skit, titled “gay chicken,” reportedly featured a marriage between two women. The skit used the phrases “for time and all eternity” and “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”



“We are disappointed in the performance of the skit that was used to mock BYU and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Thomas Stevenson, Editor-in-Chief of the independent student-run publication The Cougar Chronicle, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Even more so surprised that this was allowed to happen when the starting Stanford quarterback and several other players are members of our faith. ”

A Stanford athletic department spokesperson told the DCNF in a prepared statement that the performance did not reflect “Stanford University’s values of religious freedom and diversity, inclusion and belonging.”

“The [Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band] deeply regrets that this performance caused offense to spectators, and the halftime performance review and approval process is being adjusted to ensure that issues like this do not occur again,” the statement read.

Reagan Sumrall, a student at Brigham Young University, told the DCNF that the performance was an “extreme lack of oversight for [Stanford] because they have so many members of the church on their team.”

Five Stanford players are reportedly returned missionaries, including quarterback Tanner McKee and linebacker Lenavi Damuni, sports commentator Greg Wrubell tweeted.

Sumrall said that while she was not surprised by the performance, she was “shocked” that Stanford used “sacred ceremonies” to mock the visiting team.

“They wouldn’t do this to any other school, but this is the second time they’ve done it to us,” she said, referring to a 2004 incident in which five dancers performed at halftime in wedding veils.

Stanford’s former athletic director Ted Leland apologized and called the band’s actions “inappropriate,” ESPN reported.

Thomas Olsen, another BYU student, also told the DCNF that he was disappointed in the skit but that he “was not surprised though given what has happened at other road games.”(RELATED: ‘Rush To Judgement’:  CNN Anchor Admits Network Jumped Jumped The Gun On BYU Racism Scandal)

In September, a video circulated on social media of University of Oregon students chanting “f*ck the Mormons” which prompted an apology from the university, who acknowledged the chant was “offensive” and “disgraceful.”

Stevenson claimed that such behavior has “increased in frequency” and “shun[s] BYU as well as members of the faith,” but receives little media attention.

“If any of this had been directed towards a group considered ‘marginalized’ it would be blowing up in mainstream media,” he said.

Brigham Young University, Stanford University, Payne, McKnee, and Damuni did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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