Tennessee Church Kicks Out Family For Supporting Lesbian Daughter

Kat Cooper

The Coopers of Collegedale, TN had been members of the Ridgedale Church of Christ for over three generations. That all changed when they were photographed at a city council meeting that voted 4-1 to approve same-sex benefits to government employees. The Coopers' daughter, Kat, is a lesbian and a detective with the Collegedale Police Department and had been leading the cause to have those benefits extended to gay couples. Because they showed up to support her, the church met privately with Kat's parents, aunt, and uncle and gave them an ultimatum: repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation, or leave the church, the Times Free Press reports.

The sin of Kat's relatives, according to minister Ken Willis, is that of endorsing her 'lifestyle', which he says the Bible is explicit about. While Willis doesn't expect the Coopers to disown Kat, he says that while parents should still love their children they shouldn't support their sin; love the sinner, hate the sin. But it would also seem that loving a sinner is itself a sin, judging from the actions of Willis and the church authorities.

Willis insists that since Kat's actions and support from her family were made so public, they had no choice but to take action. The implication evidently is that if Kat had stayed in the closet or kept quiet about her lack of rights then the church wouldn't have had to punish her family for loving her.  After 60 years, the Coopers chose to leave the church rather than repent for a sin they did not commit. Kat's mother is still driven to tears by the events, but the family remains resolute in the support of their daughter. 

Related: as of this writing, it appears that the Ridgedale Church of Christ's Facebook page has been hacked and filled with gay-positive posts and pictures.