The Big 12 collegiate athletic conference is looking to expand, and Brigham Young University (BYU) is hoping to join. However, LGBT extremists are in an uproar over the mere idea of a relationship between the conference and the school.
BYU is the largest Mormon college in the country, and every student is required to sign and uphold an honor code. One of the pledges, keeping with traditional Mormon moral teachings, is to refrain from homosexual behavior and premarital sex, or, as the honor code puts it, to commit to “living a chaste and virtuous life.”
25 national LGBT groups, led by a group called Athlete Ally, have signed a letter to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby urging him to cease consideration of adding BYU. The authors wrote:
BYU … actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff. It provides no protections for LGBT students … Given BYU’s homophobic, biphobic and transphobic policies and practices, BYU should not be rewarded with Big 12 membership.
The text of the honor code actually states that “Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards… One’s stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue.”
This is not about discrimination. This is about forcing BYU to abandon their traditional morality in favor of the new sexual orthodoxy and moral relativism.
In his daily college football newsletter, SB Nation’s Jason Kirk wrote “Big 12 member and fellow private, religious school Baylor removed a similar policy in 2015. TCU appears to have no such policy and, in fact, has an openly gay assistant AD… BYU has a legal right to include this in its Honor Code, just as the Big 12 has a legal right to invite a university that guarantees equal treatment for all students. BYU has made its choice, and the Big 12 will soon make its.”
Athlete Ally and their supporters want to either make BYU alter their honor code or else punish them for their religious beliefs.
This points to a larger trend in LGBT activism: trying to force society not just to tolerate, but to accept the cutting edge of the LGBT agenda.
Take, for instance, when Mozilla sacked former CEO Brendan Eich for donating to California’s Proposition 8. Or LGBT pride groups publishing “shame lists” of colleges and universities seeking religious exemptions from federal regulations. Or proposed censorship of church sermons on traditional sexual morality in Iowa and Texas.
LGBT extremists are deliberately orchestrating an effort to censor, punish, and shame those with religious convictions that uphold traditional mores. They want to limit free exercise of religion to within the four walls of a church’s sanctuary. They do not want people to live religious lifestyles on any day but Sunday, in any place but a house of worship.
The Big 12 ought to ignore this letter from Athlete Ally’s cabal. Instead, they should consider adding BYU to their conference based on BYU’s merits alone.
Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.