Lawrence Benson, a gay BYU administrator who has used his wife to provide cover for his homosexuality since the early 1970s, declared his adamant opposition to beards on Wednesday.
“Beards do not belong here at BYU. They are a way of expressing individual difference and uniqueness. But what we are going for here at BYU is to repress our inner selfish desires and conform to what the Lord wants us to be,” Benson said, as his wife Shirley, whom Benson has not shared a bed or sexual encounter with since the Nixon Administration, stood next to him. “Anyone with a beard has no place at this university.”
Benson’s declaration comes on the heels of a student petition asking for the prohibition on beards to be lifted. The ban, put in place at the behest of school president Ernest Wilkinson during the tumultuous campus upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, is seen by many in the student population to be an antiquated relic of Wilkinson’s disdain for hippies. Benson, however, vehemently disagrees.
“This university’s no-beard policy has had a very positive influence on my life, along with the lives of many others. I’m not ashamed to admit that the hippie movement, with its non-judgmental attitudes toward deviant sexuality, was a bit of a temptation for me during my college years. However, BYU’s strict honor code kept me from going astray. You could go as far as to say that BYU’s prohibition of beards deserves some credit for me finding and marrying my sexually attractive wife. I’m confident that our beard policy will have the same wholesome influence on the current generation.”
Benson, who has been attracted to males since his early teens, has nearly always had some type of female companion in order to preempt suspicions of homosexuality. “Lawrence always had girlfriends,” remembers childhood friend Charles Clinton. “In fact, I don’t ever remember him being single. So yeah, he’s definitely not gay.” Martha Thompson, whom Benson dated during their junior year of high school, remembers Benson as being extremely respectful. “He was the perfect gentleman. He wanted to be absolutely sure that we didn’t do anything to get ourselves in trouble, chastity-wise. So he said it would probably be a good idea if we didn’t even kiss. And he was right. We dated for two years and never had to go see the bishop.”
BYU enforces the beard ban largely through preventing bearded students from participating in student activities and utilizing student services. “If I had it my way, anyone with a beard would not be allowed to attend BYU football games or purchase meals from the Cougareat,” Benson said, as he purchased a hot chocolate from the BYU cafeteria for him and his wife, who has been alive for over 64 years without experiencing an orgasm via her husband.
When asked if the policy might ever change, Benson was non-committal. “Sure, it’s possible. I mean, Brigham Young had a beard. Had lots of them, in fact. But as it stands, the Lord has made his stand on beards clear,” Benson said as he escorted his wife, who spends hours every night yearning for the touch of a man, back to their car. “I’ll probably be dead and gone before beards see a renaissance around here.