Refuse to play Brigham Young University over discriminatory and homophobic policies
Brigham Young University is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church) and is the largest religious university in the United States. Students who attend BYU are required to follow an honor code that mandates behavior in line with LDS doctrine, meaning they’re required to accommodate changes like the new ones outlined below.
Recently updated policies of the LDS church were leaked online and are extremely detrimental to the LGBT community within Utah and at BYU in particular; in an unexpected doubling back on their previous efforts to connect with LGBT families the LDS church has taken aim at children of same sex parents by listing ‘sexual cohabitation’ as a ‘Serious Transgression’ on the same level with rape and murder. The new doctrine prevents children of same sex couples from being baptized or blessed until they turn 18, at which point they must disavow "homosexuality" and no longer live in a same-sex household, forcing them to distance themselves from their parents in order to be a part of the religion.
This policy drives a wedge between families and forces children to pick sides between their religion and the people that they love, as well as opening up the possibility for BYU students of same-sex parents to be penalized for not denouncing their families much in the same way that students who lose their faith leader endorsement are kicked from the school.
These new policy changes come right after Brigham Young University was ranked one of the least LGBT-friendly campuses in the United States, and one year after the school’s only LGBT group on campus was ordered to disband by LDS church leaders and will only further the school’s hostile environment towards LGBT students.
It should also be acknowledged that this action being taken by the NCAA would not be unprecedented. In the 1970's Stanford and San José State refused to play BYU because the LDS Church refused to allow black people to hold the priesthood. With this in mind, we ask that the NCAA stand with the LGBT community of Brigham Young University, as well with their families, and refuse their inclusion in NCAA directed activities until their policies are changed in a way that is humane and non-discriminatory.
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
We ask that the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as well as teams from the NCAA, keeping in line with NCAA policy on LGBT inclusiveness, refuse to play Brigham Young University as a result of homophobic and discriminatory policies.
The NCAA LGBTQ Subcommittee Statement of Affirmation states the following:
"The NCAA opposes all forms of discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, race, ability, national origin and religious belief."
"Because systemic bias still exists in our country, we actively encourage those of all sexual orientation and gender identities, especially those that do not identify as LGBTQ – “straight allies” – to join with us in speaking out against all forms of prejudice targeted toward our LGBTQ student-athletes and colleagues. And we hope that they will join us as we support and celebrate all members of our diverse community."
We ask that the NCAA stand with their own policies on LGBT inclusiveness, as well as the teams of the NCAA, and condemn this new policy which promotes homophobia and discrimination against students, families, and individuals. Furthermore, we ask that the NCAA and the teams of the NCAA refuse the inclusion of Brigham Young University in NCAA directed activities until their policies are changed in a way that is humane and non-discriminatory.
NCAA LGBTQ Subcommittee Statement of Affirmation:
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