Hardy v. brigham young university

In early October 2008, recent BYU graduate Chad Hardy received a letter dated September 30 from Norm B. Finlinson, Executive Director of Student Academic and Advisement Services, informing him that he had been deleted from the August 2008 Graduation list and would not be awarded a degree from Brigham Young University.

On August 15, 2008 Hardy graduated with a BA in Communications Studies from Brigham Young University and walked with his class.

Just a month prior on July 13, a week after he completed his independent study courses to fulfill his graduation requirements, Hardy was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for publishing of the now famous "Men on a Mission Calendar" - a tongue-and-cheek charity project intended to strip-off stereotypes associated with the Mormon culture. 

Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the affiliated sponsor of BYU, the accredited university is holding Hardy's degree, according to the letter, until he is reinstated as a member of the Church in good standing.  BYU claims that Hardy was not in good honor code standing at the time of the posting of the degree because he was no longer a member of the LDS church, and therefore is justified in good Christian conscience to not award Hardy his degree.

Brigham Young University is an accredited school.  However, they are allowed to set its own standards for student expression, assembly, and "due process" rights.  At publicly funded schools, student rights are governed by the standards of the U.S. Constitution.  At private, religious institutions like BYU,  a student "code of conduct" defines permissible speech and due process standards.  This means BYU can revoke a degree based on a student having been excommunicated, whereas if a publicly-funded university, the same act would be considered discrimination based on religious affiliation.  All BYU has to do is follow its own procedures, as stated in the Honor Code.  

BYU insists on strict compliance with the Honor Code.  Yet it appears the Church does not feel itself bound by any concept of due process, let alone strict compliance with the Honor Code, since it is withholding Mr. Hardy's degree without following its own policies and procedures, including those specified in the Honor Code.  BYU has not followed the Honor Code itself in terms of providing notice, opportunity to be heard, etc.  This a double standard/hypocrisy.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proudly teaches that the Constitution of the United States of America was divinely inspired by God.  Yet the Church has taken every legal measure possible to ensure that the Constitution does not apply to the students and faculty at BYU.  If the Constitution is such a "glorious standard" as stated by Mormon leader President Ezra Taft Benson, then why isn't BYU's Honor Code and their church courts patterned after this God-inspired standard?

Please take a stand with Chad Hardy to remind the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to behave like the Christians they profess to be.  Thank you for your support!