After Controversy, Christian University Changes Gay Policy


(RNS) A Christian university in Nashville, Tenn., has amended its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation after a recent controversy involving a lesbian former soccer coach.

“We are a Christian community that is welcoming, loving and inclusive of everyone,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher in a Wednesday (Jan. 26) statement.

The change comes a month after the university’s soccer coach, Lisa Howe, left her position after revealing that she and her lesbian partner were expecting a child.

In his announcement, Fisher said that sexual orientation was not a consideration in “hiring, promotion, salary or dismissal decisions” during the 11 years he has been president.

Howe hailed the policy change in a statement reported by The Tennessean.

“Significant change does not happen without sacrifice and without some people getting hurt along the way,” she wrote. “However, in my opinion, everyone is a winner today.”

The executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, however, said he was “saddened” by the school’s decision, the Nashville newspaper reported.

“It sounds very much like a compromise of a traditional biblical worldview and the mores of the day,” said the Rev. Randy Davis, whose Southern Baptist state convention severed ties with Belmont in 2007.

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Tags: Adelle M. Banks, Belmont University, Discrimination, Gays, Lesbians, RNS