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BYU's Big 12 Move Jeopardized by 'Homosexual Behavior' Ban

Image: BYU's Big 12 Move Jeopardized by 'Homosexual Behavior' Ban

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By    |   Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016 10:32 AM

BYU's Big 12 move could be jeopardized by the school's policies on homosexuality after LGBT advocacy groups sent a letter requesting the athletic conference remove Brigham Young University from consideration.

The  Athlete Ally letter signed by 23 other advocacy groups claims BYU "actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff. It provides no protections for LGBT students. In fact, through its policies, BYU is very clear about its intent to discriminate against openly LGBT students, with sanctions that can include suspension or dismissal for being openly LGBT or in a same-sex relationship."

BYU, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has an honor code requiring all students to commit to chastity outside of marriage. The code also states that "homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code," according to The Associated Press.

BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins told Fox Sports that "BYU welcomes as full members of the university community all whose conduct meets university standards. We are very clear and open about our honor code, which all students understand and commit to when they apply for admission. One’s stated sexual orientation is not an issue."

Last year, Baptist university and Big 12 member Baylor removed a reference to homosexual acts from its sexual misconduct policy, Fox noted. Another Big 12 school, TCU, which is affiliated with Disciples of Christ, has published a statement prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Openly gay Oklahoma pole-vaulter Tanner Williams, who recently completed his athletic career, told Fox Sports that he would refuse to compete at BYU.

"These [LGBT] policies apply to the students there, would they apply to me?" Williams said. "What if I want to hold my husband’s hand? Would they kick me out for that? Would they not let me compete for that? That’s how I would look at it, and I know other athletes would feel the same way, whether they’re gay or allies."

On July 19, the Big 12 announced plans to expand from 10 to 12 or 14 schools, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. BYU is considered a top contender along with Cincinnati, Houston, Connecticut, Colorado State and Memphis.

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BYU's Big 12 move could be jeopardized by the school's policies on homosexuality after LGBT advocacy groups sent a letter requesting the athletic conference remove Brigham Young University from consideration.
byu, big 12, homosexual, behavior
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2016-32-10
Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016 10:32 AM
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