Belmont University: Employees Shouldn't Be Forced to Resign for Being Gay
  • Petitioned Andrew Johnston

This petition was delivered to:

Dean of Students
Andrew Johnston
President
Bob Fisher
Vice President
Todd Lake
Office of Communications
Greg Pillon

Belmont University: Employees Shouldn't Be Forced to Resign for Being Gay

    1. Michael Jones
    2. Petition by

      Michael Jones

      Boston, MA

  1.  
  2.   
January 2011

Victory

Lisa Howe was a celebrated soccer coach at Belmont University, a liberal arts university in Nashville. When word broke that Coach Howe was starting a family with her same-sex partner, Belmont terminated her employment. That decision led scores of students and activists to demand that Belmont's nondiscrimination policy be updated to include sexual orientation. One of Coach Howe's soccer players told Change.org, "This needs to be addressed on a larger scale in which changes are made to fight this type of injustice." Thanks to Belmont students and faculty, as well as over 21,000 Change.org members, Belmont's policy has been updated.

It's been quite the month for Belmont University, at least in terms of LGBT rights. In mid-November, school administrators refused to approve a campus group for gay students, going so far as to say that allowing groups of gay students to meet on campus would violate the school's moral code. Dean of Students Andrew Johnston even went on record to say that gay Christians could be disruptive.

Now Belmont University has stepped in it again, with students on the university's women's soccer team saying that their coach, Lisa Howe, was forced to resign because she was about to have a baby with her same-sex partner. Howe had been a coach there for more than five years, and was well regarded by her players. She even coached the team to the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship in 2009.

But Belmont University apparently doesn't care about the talent of their coaching staff. They're more concerned about policing the bedrooms of their employees.

Send the University a message that denying LGBT students the chance to meet, or firing employees because of who they want to start a family with, is not only offensive, it runs counter to the "Christian" values that the school is supposed to espouse. Values like loving your neighbor, showing respect for all, and welcoming all to the table in the spirit of love and forgiveness.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Scholar Condemns Belmont University's Toxic Environment for LGBT People

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      What a semester it's been for Belmont University. First they draw nationwide attention for refusing to allow gay students to organize on campus, with the Dean of Students even going so far as to say that gay Christians are "disruptive" to the...

    2. Belmont University Soccer Players Denounce Removal of Lesbian Coach

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      Students on the women's soccer team at Belmont University, a Christian institution, are "upset and outraged" at the loss of their coach. The players say that coach Lisa Howe was given an ultimatum: resign or she'd be fired. All because she shared...

    3. Belmont University Faculty Stand Up For Coach Fired for Being Gay

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      Is it acceptable for an employer to fire you because you want to start a family with your same-sex partner? Faculty at Belmont University say no, and they're coming to the defense of a lesbian women's soccer coach, Lisa Howe, who was removed by the...

    4. Belmont University: It's Christian To Fire Gay People From Their Jobs?

      Michael Jones
      Senior Campaign Director

      It's been less than a week since Belmont University, a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, made headlines for allegedly removing a well-respected women's soccer coach because the coach wanted to start a family with her same-sex partner. Current...

    5. Belmont University Removes Lesbian Coach for Starting a Family?

      Alex DiBranco
      Petition Organizer

      Belmont University: The place where tolerance goes to die.
      Okay, so that's not the school's official motto, but it's been quite the month for Belmont University, at least in terms of LGBT rights. In mid-November, school administrators refused to...

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