Monday, a report surfaced that a coalition of national LGBT advocacy groups urged the Big 12 in a letter to not admit BYU into the Big 12 because of what was described as “active and [open]” discrimination against the LGBT community by the university.
The letter, sent to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby as well as all 10 chancellors/presidents in the conference and which can be read in its entirety HERE, claims the Mormon school’s “anti-LGBT policies are bad for the Big 12 sports community, especially student-athletes.” From the school’s stringent Honor Code:
Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.
Facing a backlash, BYU’s athletic director, Tom Holmoe, took to Twitter to get a message to the masses.
LGBT players, coaches and fans are always welcome to the BYU campus. Everyone should be treated with respect, dignity and love. Tom
— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) August 9, 2016
Given the attention the letter has received, BYU’s policies toward the LGBT community will certainly be a point of discussion as the Big 12 decides which expansion direction the conference will take.
In a statement, Bowlsby told the advocacy group that the comments contained in the letter will be taken into consideration.
“Thank you for your note,” the commissioner began. “As we move forward with our processes we will certainly take your comments into consideration. I appreciate your having taken the time to express your thoughts