The Beta Upsilon Chi president resigned Tuesday night after a late closed meeting with the organization’s national representatives.
Ryan Tiglas’s resignation follows several days of debate within the TCU BYX chapter about freedom to express opinions about the marriage equality cases that the Supreme Court heard arguments on last week.
Tiglas, a junior political science major, declined to comment. Forrest Broyles, the vice president, was named acting president. Forrest Broyles cited national policies and also declined to comment. Calls to the organization’s national office were not immediately returned.
The chapter secretary sent an email to all members Tuesday night telling them not to speak to media and to refer all questions to the president.
A TCU student with knowledge of the situation said that some fraternity members objected to the request by the national office to remove statuses and profile pictures on social media that expressed opinions for or against gay marriage.
The student, who was also at the meeting and who wishes to remain anonymous, said that several members felt nationals was imposing on their right to freely express opinions.
At the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, the student said dissenters claimed that posting personal opinions on same-sex marriage was a political stance, not a religious stance.
“We are not advocating for homosexual acts, we are advocating for every single person to have the same equal right,” he said. “So it is no longer a religious realm, but a political realm.”
However, he said nationals did not agree. According to the BYX code of conduct, members cannot advocate for a position contrary to BYX code. The second clause of the code states that members should abide by the biblical concept that “sex is a gift of God to be enjoyed only inside the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, we will not condone such activity as homosexuality, fornication, or adultery.”
The student said, “BYX nationals did not see this as a political issue, they saw political and religious realms as one in the same. They said that, based off the profile picture, you can get the perception that you are for homosexual acts because you are promoting gay marriage.”
Another member, who also wishes to remain anonymous, said that some have considered dropping from the fraternity because of the debate.
“Some members would do this as a declaration of their unwillingness to sign away their First Amendment rights and to show support for members remaining in BYX,” he said.
Samantha Ehlinger, Richard Escobedo, Jake Harris and Jordan Rubio contributed to this story.