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Watch: Belmont University Denies Firing Coach for Telling Students She's Gay, as Students Protest


I posted about this briefly in the round-up the other day, but it deserves more attention.

HoweNashville's Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher today denied firing soccer coach Lisa Howe after she told students that she is a lesbian and her same-sex partner was pregnant. 

News Channel 5 reports:

Dr. Bob Fisher spoke at a news conference at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the campus' Student Life Center. Up until now, Fisher hadn't spoken a word publicly about the controversy.

Fisher said, first and foremost, he has done a poor job communication with the public since the controversy started last Wednesday. He did not take any questions from reporters, and said he would not specifically talk about Lisa Howe's departure since it was a personnel issue.


Mike Curb, the founder of Curb Records and the name behind the Curb Event Center where Lisa Howe worked, said on Tuesday he wanted to see Belmont act like Christians and rehire the soccer coach.

Curb released this statement on Wednesday:  "President Fisher has asked me as a member of the Board, now that I've made my statement completely, to hold off making any further statements to give him an opportunity to resolve these issues so that this type of injustice can never happen again."

Students have been protesting since Howe's departure and show no signs of stopping.

Just after the controversy erupted, Marty Dickens, chairman of Belmont's board of trustees defended the school's actions, saying, "We do adhere to our values as Christ-centered, and we don't want to make apologies for that."

There is now a Facebook group demanding Dickens' resignation

Watch News2Nashville's report on the firing and protests, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. If they did indeed fire her, she should sue them under Title IX for sex discrimination. If she were a male teacher who announced his wife was pregnant, do you think he would have been fired? The US Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights clearly indicates that discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation can violate Title IX.

    And I believe Belmont has a lay board and is no longer under the control of the Methodist Church, which means it doesn't get a religious exception.

    sue. sue. sue.

    Posted by: TitleIX | Dec 8, 2010 8:16:28 PM

  2. TEN MILLION DOLLAR MAN: "It's time for Belmont to change and to recognize that we have gay students, faculty and staff," said Mike Curb, a trustee emeritus at Belmont and President of Curb Records. "I want to see this board and the school leadership act like Christians." He is asking Belmont to rehire former women's soccer coach Lisa Howe, who he said was fired for being a lesbian.

    Posted by: Aaron | Dec 8, 2010 8:20:16 PM

  3. Wow, that quote from Mike Curb is surprising. I remember him as Lt. Governor of California during Jerry Brown's first tenure as Governor. He was pretty far right and made a point of wreaking havoc with the state by vetoing or issuing exectuive orders as acting governor whenever Governor Brown left the state...I think at that time even some republicans thought he was a bit over the top. Maybe he's come around.

    Posted by: Secret Identity | Dec 8, 2010 9:17:46 PM

  4. If I was Christ, and it was time for the 2nd coming, how do you think I'd feel seeing all those crucifixes all over the place? I'd hightail it back to heaven cuz this joint would be hell for me.

    My point is that we don't know that Christ would want the woman kicked out. In fact, if Christ's girl was a whore, he probably knew some cocksuckers too, and was cool with that. Everyone gets all up in some shit and starts yelling. Relax, she's having a baby, it's the most natural thing in the world. "Cept someone always wants to tell you how it's SPOSED to be done, so they figure they got to get the bible to back them up. Is that Christian or lust for power?

    Posted by: kodiak | Dec 8, 2010 10:53:15 PM

  5. wait - a women's soccer coach who's a lesbian? i'm shocked, just shocked!

    Posted by: steve | Dec 8, 2010 11:20:04 PM

  6. can we expect Pink Slips for all the divorcees & adulterers as well?

    yeah, thought not. Discrimination masques itself as religious fervor once again.

    This just NEVER gets old, boys. Never. :)

    And another thing, the magic sky man is a myth... BOO! lol

    Posted by: pete N sfo | Dec 9, 2010 9:11:58 AM

  7. Uhhh, is it just me or is something embarrassing going on here? What does the coach say? Since the principal refuses to say why she "resigned" I guess it's possible that she did resign.

    Are the kids the only ones saying that she was fired? Because kids can be really stupid and childish! Just look at the average Towleroad comment trolls.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Dec 9, 2010 10:43:42 AM

  8. I'm sure she resigned, but was basically told that or be fired. Which is a distinction without a difference except in terms of the victim's job prospects elsewhere after. If you don't have the means to sue, or just barely do, but you've got a kid on the way and don't feel most local juries are going to be terribly sympathetic(jury nullifciation works both ways, kids) you're probably going to pick the option that lets you tell your next interviewer that you quit. So it's good that people are calling the college out on their bullshit.

    Posted by: BGKev | Dec 9, 2010 11:59:10 AM

  9. If Dickens adheres to his "values as Christ-centered," he ought to reread the Sermon on the Mount -- which did NOT include "blessed are the sanctimonious bigots."

    Judge not, Dickens, lest you be judged.

    Posted by: wimsy | Dec 9, 2010 3:08:50 PM

  10. @Fenrox: The Tennesseean reports that she was told to quit or be fired.

    Posted by: wimsy | Dec 9, 2010 3:12:42 PM

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