Rice University: Sever Athletic Ties with BYU over Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Rice University: Sever Athletic Ties with BYU over Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

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Why this petition matters

Started by Matthew Sheets

Last week, the Rice Thresher ran my opinion piece calling for the severing of athletic ties and partnerships with Brigham Young University in light of their homophobic and transphobic policies. In 2019, Rice and BYU announced an upcoming joint football series, further aligning the two universities athletically and monetarily.

This petition is to let Rice University's administration and Rice Athletics know that it is wrong to affiliate with BYU, a university fundamentally opposed to Rice's community values of equality, respect, and open-mindedness. 

This petition is also to stand in solidarity with queer students at Rice, BYU, and elsewhere. We must stand against bigotry, no matter the source or the intention. At BYU, students endure discrimination on a daily basis. As I stated in my guest opinion:

"BYU has a ban on “same sex romantic behavior”, including holding hands, kissing and dating. The harassment of queer students at BYU, however, goes much further. A recent lesbian graduate lost her on-campus job for not appearing “feminine enough” to her boss. Last year, a professor called a queer student a term associated with the anti-Christ. Transitioning can result in expulsion. Queer applicants can be denied admission or scholarships. And all LGBTQ students live in constant fear of disciplinary action — including expulsion — should they “act on” their queer identities."

BYU holds a Title IX exemption, giving it a free pass to discriminate against women and LGBTQ people. And yet, BYU has discriminated against queer students so severely that it is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education.

Rice can absolutely find worthy athletic opponents who respect the humanity and dignity of queer athletes, students, and fans. Affiliating with BYU is a choice that our university makes each and every day: that profits and convenience are more important than the lives of queer people harmed by institutional homophobia and transphobia. 

Tell Rice to stop scheduling games with BYU now. 

111 have signed. Let’s get to 200!