PROVO, Utah- Twenty-five groups that advocate for the LGBT community have sent a letter to the Big 12 urging the conference not to admit BYU as a new member, Fox Sports first reported.
On Monday, Athlete Ally, a nonprofit that campaigns for LGBT rights in sports leagues and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sent the letter to Big 12 administrators. It details why they believe policies at the university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The letter states in part: “Given BYU’s homophobic, biphobic and transphobic policies and practices, BYU should not be rewarded with Big 12 membership.” 23 other advocacy groups co-signed the letter, including GLAAD and the National Organization for Women (NOW).
BYU Athletic Director, Tom Holmoe, responded to the letter with this tweet: “LGBT players, coaches and fans are always welcome to the BYU campus. Everyone should be treated with respect, dignity and love. Tom.”
The Big 12 announced last month that is was considering expanding from 10 to 12 or 14 teams. BYU has long sought membership in a Power 5 conference and is considered a favorite to join the league if it expands. FOX 13 News’ Jeff Rhineer wrote about BYU’s hopes to join the Big 12 Conference.