Belmont University’s women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe was fired from her job a couple months ago after she told her team she was expecting a child with her same-sex partner. It’s the sort of anti-gay bigotry we’ve all come to expect from the Christian world.
But the backlash against school officials has been overwhelming.
Earlier this week, the school announced they would be adding sexual orientation into their non-discrimination policy:
A new clause has been added to the anti-discrimination policy which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The change came after more than a month conducting focus groups and interviews on the topic of sexual orientation.
Sounds all well and good, but how will this be put into practice?
I’m not very optimistic:
While the wording in Belmont’s mission statement has changed, [University President] Dr. [Bob] Fisher wasn’t able to explain whether or not University policy will be affected.
Reporter Amanda Hara said, “You’re saying that you want to be tolerant of people with different sexual orientations but yet you won’t tell us if people are allowed to be openly gay and work here?”
“I’m not responding you can go ahead and ask that about three different times and the same answer every time,” President Fisher responded.“I’m just giving you an opportunity to be transparent,” Amanda Hara replied.
President Fisher went on to say “Well thank you very much.”
What good is a “non-discrimination policy” if the university president can’t even say whether GLBT people can get a job there?
On the bright side, the Tennessee Baptist Convention is pissed off about the apparent lip-service:
“For decades Tennessee Baptists poured themselves into making Belmont what it is,” Randy Davis, executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press. “We did sever ties in 2007, but many of us never dreamed that the school would walk away so rapidly from their Christian heritage and roots. My heart is broken for all of the Tennessee Baptists that have loved and invested themselves in Belmont over the years. Many of our strongest leaders today are Belmont graduates, and the sentiment that I am hearing from them is one of outrage.”
Ah, yes, those honorable Christian roots that make you want to fire someone who’s in love with another person.
I won’t be convinced a change has been made until an openly gay person is hired by the school. I doubt Dr. Fisher has the courage to make that happen.
(Thanks to Jon-Michael for the link)