Update: BYU athletic director Tom Homloe responded with a statement of inclusion on his official Twitter account.
LGBT players, coaches and fans are always welcome to the BYU campus. Everyone should be treated with respect, dignity and love. Tom— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) August 9, 2016
The Big 12 has left the door open for expansion by two or four teams in the near future and there are a number of schools hoping to be added to the conference, including BYU, which is currently an independent in football.
According to Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel, Athlete Ally and the National Center for Lesbian Rights wrote a letter to the Big 12 -- one co-signed by 23 other LGBT advocacy groups -- urging the Big 12 to remove BYU from consideration for expansion due to the school's Honor Code, which they believe includes discriminatory policies.
"BYU ... actively and openly discriminates against its LGBT students and staff," read the letter obtained by Fox's Mandel. "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."
BYU's Honor Code specifically states that any physical manifestation of homosexual behavior from a student or employee puts them in violation of the school's code, which can lead to a suspension or dismissal.
One's stated same-gender attraction is not an Honor Code issue. However, the Honor Code requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.
Former Oklahoma pole-vaulter Tanner Williams was the first Division I athlete to actively compete while announcing a same-sex marriage, and Williams told Mandel that he would not have been willing to travel to BYU to compete.
The Big 12 has its own anti-discrimination Policy on Diversity, which covers ethnic and gender minorities, as well as members of the LGBT community.
Consistent with NCAA Constitution 2.7, the Conference and its Member Institutions are committed to cultural diversity, promoting respect and sensitivity to the dignity of every person and fostering participation of all in competition, administration and governance. It is the obligation of each Member Institution to refrain from discrimination prohibited by federal and state law, and to demonstrate a commitment to fair and equitable treatment of all student-athletes and athletics department personnel.
The Big 12 has not confirmed whether commissioner Bob Bowlsby, to whom the letter was addressed, or the conference's member schools have received the letter.
In adding any program, the Big 12 would have to go through a thorough vetting process where the incoming school needs eight of 10 current member schools to vote in their favor. In that process, they would also ensure that any incoming member schools meet the conference's standards.