Anatomy of a scandal: Belmont quickly undoes years of goodwill

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 10:05pm
BelmontProtest.jpg
Eric England/SouthComm 

With a single public statement that was revised and redrawn several times over the course of about a week, Belmont University managed to land itself on the national map, just as it has been working to do for the past several years. But this wasn’t for any reason school officials would cop to. 

On Dec. 2, the university released a statement that women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe had resigned. This came a week after Howe told her team that her same-sex partner was pregnant. 

Several of Howe’s players spoke out, saying it wasn’t Howe’s choice to leave.

“She was fired,” junior captain Sari Lin said. “She was let go.”

On Dec. 3, Belmont changed its story and issued another statement, which said the two parties had reached a mutual agreement to end Howe’s employment.

When reached last week, Howe’s attorney Abby Rubenfeld cited a confidentiality clause and would not say if Howe resigned or was dismissed. 

“I wish I could,” Rubenfeld said. “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

In a phone interview with The City Paper, Howe expressed regret that she wasn’t still coaching.

“I do miss the team,” said Howe, who was at Belmont for six years and had a winning record of 52-48-16. “I have invested a lot in that program. Coaching has been my life’s work, and it is my passion. I do want to make sure the next place I work has policies that make me feel safe and welcome working there, and help me feel like my family is welcome and safe working there.”

When asked if she would return if offered her job back, Howe said, “I would just have to consider. I would have to take my time.”

The aftermath

The fallout from Howe’s departure has been widespread and supercharged.

Student group Belmont Bridge Builders has demanded the school form a non-discrimination policy. University officials have twice rejected the group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in its bid to be recognized as an official campus organization. 

Bridge Builders and Belmont students and alum have organized two protests — the second drew more than 130 people and was held in below-freezing temperatures. And students held a sit-in last week outside Belmont president Bob Fisher’s office. The school’s faculty senate met and passed a resolution that “affirms the entire Belmont University community including its gay and lesbian members.” The resolution also stated “that the sexual identity of individuals should not impact that person’s standing on campus.” Members of the faculty also met with students in a closed-door session.

In addition, several church leaders have spoken up. 

Melvin G. Talbert, a retired bishop of the United Methodist Church, was at the first protest and told the students “that justice will prevail.” 

Erie Chapman, an ordained minister and former president of Baptist Hospital — where he changed the discrimination policy to protect workers on the basis of sexual orientation — joined several other ministers at last week’s protest outside the Gordon Inman Center on Belmont’s campus. 

“For them to cite Christian values is an offense to Christian values,” Chapman said. “Frankly, I have to admit, I was a little  naïve. I thought they were open about this. I didn’t realize until this incident that they would actually fire someone over this.” 

Major Belmont donor and music executive Mike Curb, for whom the music business college and basketball arena are named, issued two statements. He asked Belmont to rehire Howe and expressed concern that if the matter isn’t resolved, the university won’t be able to attract major events in the future. In 2008, the Curb Event Center hosted a presidential debate.

Other prominent Belmont donors — Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Beaman and Gordon Inman, as well as Belmont alum Brad Paisley — were not available for comment. 

Marty Dickens, who is the chairman of Belmont’s board of trustees, told The Tennessean, “We adhere to our values as Christ-centered, and we don’t want to make apologies for that.” 

Messages left on Dickens’ home phone were not returned.

Attorney John Ray Clemmons released a statement last week calling for Dickens to resign from his post as chairman of the Metro Convention Center Authority, which is overseeing the construction of the Music City Center. 

“I simply found his statements to be downright offensive,” Clemmons told The City Paper. “The discriminatory nature of those in using religion to support discrimination is intolerable. As a member of that private institution, he has the right to say what he wants, and they have the right to do what they want. However, he also wears another hat … therefore, any statements that he makes publicly have a direct impact on the reputation of our city and the success of that $600 million capital-plus project right in the middle of town. 

“Now he has gone public and made it known that he does not feel that everyone is welcome at his university, and it can’t but follow that he does not feel that everyone should be treated equal or should be welcome here.” 

In addition, At-large Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry — who sponsored the law that protects Metro employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation — and Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors Inc. released statements denouncing the university’s actions.

“The situation … reminds us that discrimination based on sexual orientation continues to be a source of injustice in our community,” Barry said.

Moving forward

Fisher addressed the media for the first time on Dec. 8, a full six days after the story broke. He read a brief statement but didn’t answer any questions. 

He apologized for not doing a “good job in communicating. I am sorry for that and I take full responsibility.” He wouldn’t discuss personnel matters but said “in the 10 years I have served as Belmont’s president, sexual orientation has not been considered in making hiring, promotion, salary or dismissal decisions.” 

Rubenfeld took those statements as a step in the right direction.

“I was delighted to hear that Belmont has adopted a non-discrimination policy,” she said. “I applaud them. I think they are leaders among Christian universities, and I am really eager to see the written version of the policy.” 

She isn’t alone.

Belmont senior Erica Carter, who will graduate later this week, has been pushing for change since her coach’s departure. She has been vocal, speaking to local and national reporters and even talking on the nationally syndicated radio program The Bert Show last week. The communications and public relations major said this issue is bigger than Belmont.

“Overall, I think there needs to be legislative policy changes nationwide,” Carter said. “I think discrimination based on sexual orientation needs to be [outlawed]. There are about 20 states that don’t have laws that have protection for that. I think that needs to be changed.” 

Howe wasn’t surprised by her team’s response, calling them “classy young ladies.”

“I thought they were mature beyond their years,” Howe said. “I am very impressed that they feel strongly and have gotten involved.”

As for her future, Howe said she’s excited to be a mother. As for where she goes from here, Howe doesn’t know.

“This experience has been so consuming that I haven’t had a chance to get to that next step where I am making that type of decision,” she said, calling the last week “overwhelming.”

“Definitely the support of the community, the Belmont students and faculty, my soccer team and also the coaching community,” Howe said, “just the support I have gotten is what makes this way more positive than negative.”   

36 Comments on this post:

By: Cold Floridian on 12/13/10 at 5:16

“The discriminatory nature of those in using religion to support discrimination is intolerable."

that sentence says it all.. Again, we need to get the bad apples out of Nashville before they spoil the whole basket. Religion is using discrimination like we use racism... same level of ignorance.

God Bless Lisa Howe and her family.
God Bless Nashville for getting rid of the religious freaks or squelching their 1st Amendment.. People that spew Hate need to get out of this town.. NOW!

I like this town. I like the people. It's not nice to show your "bad side" to new residents. it's a very ugly side, I might add. :)
--------------------------------------------------

Think before you post. You could be displaying your ignorance.....

By: richgoose on 12/13/10 at 5:40

During the course of events for those people and institutions that try to extend themselves to greater heights sometimes you get a downside.

Belmont had no idea of how robust was the growth of the queer/homosexual community. They are a voice!

By: govskeptic on 12/13/10 at 5:44

Is it the position, nature of, or duty of the local Press that
to ride this story until Belmont "surrenders" any and all
reference to anything religious within their mission, text,
or purpose in existing? It appears so to many who have
kept up with this story! After providing a great institution
for close to 100 years a miniority are "demanding" they
fall to their knees over an issue they have already stated
a very reasonable position on!

By: Nitzche on 12/13/10 at 6:58

nitzche- why doesn"t she sue?Oh, she has no cause of action!Sexual Orientation is not protected under the law!Dang, the law keeps getting in the way.But why does Belmont not have to be forced to change its policy to include sexual orientation?Dang, private institution, again, law is in the way!

By: spooky24 on 12/13/10 at 7:23

Funny thing-If it's a political correct issue then it's ok to break the rules. It comes right down from the top-whatever problem we perceive it's the Government who should administer the rules to private institutions Forget the fact that no tax dollars or government aid at all is used. Ok lets see how that works for everyone- There is a private dance school down the street-we have seen dances which we feel are "inappropriate" so lets get the Government to pass a law that restricts dances to the ones we approve.
A lot of this comes from the young adults being brought up in the gimme generation that grew up in a mirror. The world means nothing but a reflection of themselves . Gimme money, free school, unemployment, Government buy me this and that-so what that I don't pay any taxes-gimme more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I suggest some of the highbrows go to Europe and live in a real Socialist society and see how you like it. And yes the government will pay for everything.

By: Kosh III on 12/13/10 at 8:09

Belmont gets plenty of government money: student loans, grants for research and many more.

Which poverty stricken horrid socialist countries would you suggest? Denmark? Germany? New Zealand? Australia? Finland? but wait! They're all prosperous places with a higher standard of living than the US.

Treating people badly is NEVER Christian. Baptist maybe, Christian never.

By: INDUETIME on 12/13/10 at 8:32

I find it amazing that of all the schools Ms. Howe chose to coach, she picked Belmont. Why? She must have known that it was a christian school before she accepted the job? She must have known that it was a very conservative place to work at? That many folks in leadership as well as students would have a problem with her chosen lifestyle and behavior? You could have worked at any other school that has a more "open" mindedness approach to lifestyles. And with your parteners pregnancy, You knew full well that the school would have a problem with it which is why you brought it out in the open in the first place. It is not Belmont's place to accept your standards of morals, it is yours to adhere to thiers. You could have left quietly and with dignity, but that would have gotten in the way of your agenda. Ms. Howe, you are the fraud here. You chose this school for the simple fact that many gays and lesbians who work at conservative environments have one agenda in mind, to tear down a religious based place to push your immoral behavior on others. Nicely done. Belmont just became another notch on your perverted cultures war on Christianity.

By: District18Voter on 12/13/10 at 8:37

So we have someone who ran for the district 18 council seat make a statement, but the person who represents the district is silent! Could it be she has a clear conflict and afraid she might lose her job if she speaks out?

By: Wild Bill on 12/13/10 at 8:51

Does the City Paper know the real reason for Ms Howe's dismissal? If that information came to them and it had nothing to do with her "orientation" would they print that information? Has the City Paper become a megaphone for the gay agenda at Belmont? Does the City Paper even want to know the real reason?

When reached last week, Howe’s attorney Abby Rubenfeld cited a confidentiality clause and would not say if Howe resigned or was dismissed.

“I wish I could,” Rubenfeld said. “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

Well Rubenfeld, surely you are the one that advised her to sign the confidentiality agreement and now you are saying I wish we could tell you the reason. That doesn't hold water. Its real easy to say that when you know you will never have to tell the real reason. Once again, a nice diversion.

Jerome, I and other readers hope that you will one day tell the real story.

By: yogiman on 12/13/10 at 8:59

Facts are facts. Belmont had its announced policies when they opened their doors for education of knowledge seekers.

As it was shown earlier, they didn't question employees about their sexual orientation upon application for a job, and never questioned them after employing them, as long as it was kept secret. But for such a person to come out into the public as a "look at me, I'm a homosexual, and I work at Belmont!" What should you expect
Belmont to do? Say, we made a mistake for not wanting homosexuals on our staff all of these years?

A major question has been raised; why do the homosexuals want the world to know of their sexual desires? To be blunt; who gives a damn? Just keep it to yourself.

By: frodo on 12/13/10 at 10:16

As a wise-guy once said, "Why can't we all just get along?" Belmont is what it is. Lisa Howe is what she is. No one is asking her to not be what she is. But everyone expects Belmont to become something different. I don't go to a chik-n sandwich restaurant and make a fuss because they don't serve brgrz. And I don't hear Mz Howe making a fuss that her proclaimed lifestyle is not on the Belmont menu.

This story is driven by people and reporters who are bitter about their religion experiences (you can read it in some of these posts), and/or who just love a liberal cause that stirs things up, and/or who have delusions of cheering Howe on as the next Rosa Parks or becoming themselves (God forbid) Jesse Jackson.

Maybe the collective ruling forces at Belmont will decide to become something different than what Belmont has always been...a private school founded and championed by people with certain sincerely-held religious beliefs. Maybe it won't. And who's business is it, anyway?

The screeching sounds coming out of this debate are the same that drive us to become a society where people with sincerely-held religious beliefs are unacceptable. I say, if you want brgrz, go to McDonalds. But don't stand at the door of the chik-n joint and demand that the owner change or resign.

By: Kosh III on 12/13/10 at 10:28

"A major question has been raised; why do the homosexuals want the world to know of their sexual desires? To be blunt; who gives a damn? Just keep it to yourself."

Then hide your wife and kids in a closet too!

By: global_citizen on 12/13/10 at 10:59

To INDUETIME and yogiman:

First of all, Belmont is not "a very conservative" school, and not everyone who is Christian hates gays/lesbians as much as evangelical Christians seem to. Belmont's employment application info says Belmont is "an equal opportunity employer" that seeks "men and women of diverse backgrounds", while it says nothing at all about prohibiting gays/lesbians. So to draw the conclusion that Ms. Howe should have known she wasn't welcome there is an assertion completely without evidence.

Secondly, those who love to dehumanize gays can call it a "chosen lifestyle" (it's neither "chosen" nor a "lifestyle") but that doesn't make it so and most people without your entrenched hatred of all things gay realize this.

By all accounts, Ms. Howe acted with due discretion and grace, seeking permission to inform her team quietly about the change in her family situation, as would be expected of any employee who will soon be caring for a child. But the way she's been depicted by the anti-gay lunatics who've posted here, you'd think Ms. Howe was the grand marshal of the gay parade.

To the contrary, she's kept a very low profile and has sought to stay out of the spotlight. There was no "look at me", yogiman. What figment of your imagination gave you that impression? She obviously had no agenda other than to live quiet life with her partner and their child. Those who posit otherwise are clearly delusional and see the world through their own paranoid lens.

And yogiman, the gays and lesbians I know couldn't care less what or if you think about their "sexual desires" and they don't define themselves solely by their "sexual desires" as you seem to do. They are fully human being with natural sexual, romantic, and affectionate desires just like every straight person you know.

We don't expect straight people to be completely silent about their romantic life. We celebrate people's weddings, congratulate them on anniversaries, ask about how their date went, and relish stories about family vacations. Why would be expect to hear these things from heterosexuals many times a day, but you expect gays and lesbians to "keep it to yourself"?

What kind of narcissistic personality disorder do you have that you think other people who are strangers to you should bow to your wishes to keep you happy and avoid offending your overly sensitive sensibilities?

By: Kosh III on 12/13/10 at 11:28

Well said Globalcitizen.

I'd like to add that being gay is neither chosen nor a lifestyle.

Christianity IS chosen and is a lifestyle.

By: frodo on 12/13/10 at 12:21

I agree with you, global, that Mz Howe is not the one howling here. She has kept quiet as anyone who cuts a deal (with the aid her attorney) would. And maybe even with some discretion, wisdom and good heart tossed in.

But let's not forget that Belmont is still founded on an interpretation of the bible that is not favorable to homosexual practice, and that sincere people firmly hold such belief (it isn't like a religion that says go kill those people). To not know that belief going in would be rather naive. Yes, Belmont has reached in recent years for favor with the masses. Perhaps in so doing they carelessly or conveniently allowed people to make false assumptions.

I entirely disagree with you on this point, where you extol Mz Howe for informing "her team quietly about the change in her family situation, as would be expected of any employee who will soon be caring for a child." No, sorry, but there is nothing in the relationship between a coach and a team that should make that an issue. In a normal employment relationship, family issues are non-issues. Now, whether those issues run counter to the basic foundational beliefs of a faith-based institution...that is a valid issue between the employee and the institution. But not between employee and clients/customers (team members).

Even in the "normal" (not faith-based) employment situation, would a company show me the door for revealing to customers and board members in the course of my employment that I don't share the values of the company? In the twinkling of an eye.

By: global_citizen on 12/13/10 at 12:39

Frodo, you probably don't realize that Belmont was actually founded by two presumed lesbians who shared a house in life and a grave in death. They are buried together at Mt. Olivet cemetery.

As for Ms. Howe informing her team of the upcoming changes in her family situation, family issues are definitely employment issues. Do you not have any kids, or co-workers with kids? When they get sick at school or have to stay home from school, everyone who works with that person knows about it and has to cover. It would have been irresponsible and downright silly for Ms. Howe to have a child and try to keep it hush hush from those who would be affected (i.e. her team and her employer).

By: jsnap on 12/13/10 at 1:00

Simply look in the Bible and see what it says about the gay lifestyle. If ypu don['t want to believe the Bible, then that is your problem.

By: pswindle on 12/13/10 at 1:08

Has the Coach been rehired? If not, the school is not whole, and it will pay the price in the long-run.

By: Kosh III on 12/13/10 at 1:16

"Simply look in the Bible and see what it says about the gay lifestyle. If ypu don['t want to believe the Bible, then that is your problem."

"Jonathan your love for me was wonderfu, passing the love of women. " King David II Samuel 1:26 QJV

By: frodo on 12/13/10 at 1:34

The United States was founded by people who traded in slaves. But they did not found our system upon slavery. Nor does the mainstream of our citizens today agree with slavery. Nor should Belmont be bound by the lifestyle of "two presumed lesbians" who may have been involved in its founding. They did not found, nor did others follow in leading Belmont, based on a lesbian outlook.

Which leads me to jsnap's snappy and appropriate call to consider exactly what Belmont leaders read in their bibles (which admittedly may not read that same as some other people's bibles: (from I Timothy, chapter 1)

""...the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine..."

Note that slave traders and homosexual practice are mentioned together here. Whether you a) don't believe in this bible, b) have a bible that reads otherwise or c) have an honest difference of opinion on interpretation...I feel sure that the weight of Belmont tradition rests upon a belief and interpretation that says homosexual practice is not consistent with Christian faith. and not consistent with Belmont values.

Mz Howe should go someplace else and live a happy life. This just isn't a good fit.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/13/10 at 2:11

GUARDIAN-First of all Jerome Boettcher a record of 52-48-16 is winning 44.8% of it's games. I wouldn't call that a winning record. Now Cold Floridian, "God Bless Nashville for getting rid of the religious freaks or squelching their 1st Amendment.. People that spew Hate need to get out of this town.. NOW!". How about picking a time and place so we can see you leaves town. :) Next thank you richgoose for calling a queer a queer and knowing the difference. You're are right they have been given more power than they deserve. Then thank some of the rest of you for the truth. It's hard to find these days but the main truth is the left stream media is driving this story knowing Belmont is a private Christian school that has every right to do what they have. I think Belmont should drop women’s soccer if their players don't like the school hiring who they want to be coach. Don't ask don't tell is such a great idea.

By: global_citizen on 12/13/10 at 2:50

frodo, you're too funny and the irony is completely lost on you. YOU were the one who brought up the "founders" argument and now that I point out the founders of Belmont were two presumed lesbians you do a 180 and say that the founders don't matter at all.

Sniff, sniff... is that the scent of hypocrisy I smell?

By: global_citizen on 12/13/10 at 2:59

Everyone who says Belmont is a private institution that can fire a lesbian if they like is correct. I don't think anyone has disputed that.

However, Belmont cannot and should not expect to be shielded from the disapproving backlash from the community in which it resides. And that community, especially District 18, is politically progressive and thinks anti-gay discrimination is abhorrent. The neighborhood already has a grudging co-existence with Belmont in many ways. It has conceded to Belmont's demands for zoning favors and lease agreements for public land, concessions many disagree with.

So yes, Belmont can fire a lesbian if they like. But the residents of the Belmont neighborhood can also express their disapproval by attending zoning hearings and speaking out against Belmont's next plea for favors. They can express their wishes that Belmont not be given use of public lands on favorable terms, or not be given use at all.

By: govskeptic on 12/13/10 at 3:07

"Presumed lesbians"! One was married twice, where does
this presumption come from? Possibly another history/folklore
rewrite to fit the agenda of the current chattering class.

By: AT on 12/13/10 at 3:27

The City Paper continues to fan the "flames" of an otherwise vocal minority using Belmont to push their personal agenda and lifestyle choices on others. Tolerance does not mean acceptance of sin or encouraging immorality, but rather gentleness and respect for all people. Instead, the liberal left wants to name call, attack and exercise intoletance for those folk who may disagree with their views and choices. Since when was having a different opinion cause for such hatred and attack?

By: frodo on 12/13/10 at 3:32

No hypocrisy, global. To the extent that founders imprint their values into what they found, then those are founding principles from the founders. Or did my analogy of the slave traders who founded America go over your head? And, thanks, govskeptic, if you have a better handle on history than the global_citizen.

By: localboy on 12/13/10 at 4:32

"Frodo, you probably don't realize that Belmont was actually founded by two presumed lesbians who shared a house in life and a grave in death. They are buried together at Mt. Olivet cemetery."
I'm afraid I'm ignorant of Belmont's history - when did it become affiliated with the Baptist church?

By: global_citizen on 12/13/10 at 4:36

gov, I'm not sure who you're referring to or where you get your information, but I'm referring to Susan Heron and Ida Hood. Both were lifelong spinsters who shared a home and are buried together at Mt. Olivet.

But hey, maybe you know something I don't. If you were to say William Ward wasn't a lesbian, I couldn't disagree with that. LOL.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/13/10 at 6:47

GUARDIAN-If the left couldn't use half truths and lies they would have nothing to say.

By: CMartel2 on 12/14/10 at 9:32

I think it's quite evident that Ms. Howe decided that her own personal morality should supercede that of the school's. Why else would she take a job at a school knowing full well its hiring practices? And quite frankly, it's been no mystery that Christianity (and frankly, all of history. Name one society in all of it who accepted gay "marriage" outside the past 20-years) sees homosexuality as an ethical issue and to be roundly condemned.

So she took this job, anyway, and made a big stink about her sexuality AFTER she took the job. And then went crying to the media.

I have no respect for this woman, and frankly, she is the one who should have the finger turned upon her. I'm not going to take an administrative role in a homosexual, Muslim or Buddhist oraganization, as I simply don't share many common values with these groups. Ms. Howe seeks to force her lifestyle on an organization that she knew would have none of it. Well, she deserved to be fired, as should anyone who attempts to subvert an organization.

By: capnjack on 12/14/10 at 9:50

Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Tricia Yearwood, Lee Beaman, Brad Paisley, Melinda Doolittle, and many others less well known than these should not remain complicit on this issue.
They are surely aware of the complexities of the dismissal of Lisa Howe, but still remain silent?
I'll bet Taylor Swift has already written a song about this fiasco. Years ago, Russell Smith (Amazing Rhythm Aces) wrote a song about a Lesbian couple, but it was not a big hit. It was called "Emma-Jean".
No matter which side you are on, please, people, tell the world how you feel.
Country Music, which is made up of a lot of record buyers and radio stations, as well as publishing companies and clearing houses, is suffocating themselves by appealing to the patronage of those who believe homosexuality doesn't exist.
Ask Kenny Chesney. Ask any country music fan. Don't ask, don't tell is the mantra.
There are lesbians and gays in all walks of life, and yes, including sports. Sports seems to be where the numbers are, in some cases, the highest per capita. Just look into the ladies softball league.
So Hey, Country Music, follow Mike Curb. Come out of your closet. Let us hear your voice.

By: winterfell on 12/14/10 at 11:00

__He (Fisher) wouldn’t discuss personnel matters but said “in the 10 years I have served as Belmont’s president, sexual orientation has not been considered in making hiring, promotion, salary or dismissal decisions.”__

I know for a fact that is a lie. I'm not well connected to the Belmont Community and I know personally two people we were told not to bother applying for an open teaching position because their “sexual orientation was too well known.” If I know of two (1 in social work program & 1 in business school), there must be more than a few others. That is an issue someone should be looking into. Let’s be clear, they have the legal right to discriminate against lesbians/gay men in hiring (as does every business & school in TN), but they should be honest about it.

By: winterfell on 12/14/10 at 11:09

CMartel2 said __So she took this job, anyway, and made a big stink about her sexuality AFTER she took the job. And then went crying to the media.__

That is not my understanding. She told the students that she knew well and worked with all the time, that her family was expecting a child. How many people do you know that keep silent about how excited they are that they are going to be a parent for the first time.

This is not the act of someone seeking public notice ... this is someone that had some very exciting news that she was proud of ... and she told a few people/students that know her well this happy news. It is not like she announced it in the belmont newpaper.

Many won't agree, but this is about family.

By: global_citizen on 12/14/10 at 1:08

To CMartel2: There is little about your post that is factual or without conjecture.

You say she took the job "knowing full well its hiring practices". What are Belmont's hiring practices you refer to? There is no mention of sexual orientation in their employment application information, and in fact Belmont represents itself to applicants as "an equal opportunity employer" that seeks "men and women of diverse backgrounds".

When you say Christianity is disapproving of homosexuality, you do not speak for all of Christianity. Many denominations are welcoming toward gays and lesbians. The statement from Belmont's president seems to indicate Belmont has no problem employing gays and lesbians.

And far from going to the media and making a "big stink" Ms. Howe kept a very low profile for days while this controversy was unfolding. But for one short interview on the channel 4 news, she has maintained a low profile.

You have lied and misrepresented this case entirely in your post. As a Christian, you would do well to remember what the bible says about bearing false witness.

By: pswindle on 12/14/10 at 1:55

I am so tired of those so called christians trying to tell me what the Bible says. How many so called Christians are caught with their pants down? The church has had more scandals dealing with sex that any other organization. Do as I say, and not as I do.

By: livinglively57 on 12/15/10 at 6:28

global_citizen...I was going to respond to this article but your posts seem to parody my thoughts exactly. Good posts...good rebuttal to the misinformed...keep up the good retort!

In being Christ-like (Christian) we are to love our fellow man as ourselves and dare not judge another soul, lest we be judged as we judge others. In being religious (religiously defending your particular beliefs), it seems that much hate and ignorance is spewed in the name of "Christianity".