News Religious Liberty

LGBT Groups Urge Big 12 to Pass on Adding BYU to Conference



According to Fox News, an LGBT advocacy group sent a letter to the commissioner of the Big 12 urging the conference to remove Brigham Young University (BYU) from its list of schools in consideration for entrance to the conference.

“Athlete Ally, a nonprofit group that works with sports leagues and organizations on educational and awareness programs, wrote in a letter sent Monday that”…through its policies, BYU is very clear about its intent to discriminate against openly LGBT students…”

BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The school’s honor code states that same-gender attraction is not an issue. But it does state, “Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code.” The school requires all students to commit to chastity outside of marriage.

Future attendees and current students are made fully aware of the school’s policy on standards of conduct according to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. However, this has not stopped over 23 advocacy groups in coordination with Athlete Ally to try and bring this up as an issue to the commissioner of the Big 12. The letter can be read here.

One of the more prominent signers of the letter is the Equality Federation, which is made up 41 state based that have worked to advance an anti-religious liberty agenda in states like North Carolina, Missouri, and California. The Equality Federation is actively working to destroy First Amendment protections at all levels. Recently, the organization has been vocal in their opposition of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in conviction with their religious belief or moral conviction.

In an interview with the AP last month, BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said he was not concerned that the school’s religious affiliation would stand in the way of its attempts to join the Big 12.

“Last month the NCAA said it would be sending a questionnaire to future and potential host city organizing groups to gauge whether they would “provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination.” In April the board adopted this requirement for host sites of its sanctioned tournaments and events.
2ndVote will continue to follow this story as it develops.