News (USA)

Church kicks out family for supporting lesbian daughter in benefits fight

Church kicks out family for supporting lesbian daughter in benefits fight

COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. — A Tennessee church has banned an entire family from its congregation after they supported their lesbian daughter while she fought for same-sex partner benefits from the town where she worked as a police detective.

Pastor Ken Willis of the Ridgedale Church of Christ in Chattanooga said the action was necessary because the family was publicly endorsing homosexuality by supporting their daughter.

Kat Cooper (right) and her wife, Krista, from their Maryland wedding trip earlier this year.

Earlier this month, Collegedale became the first city in Tennessee to offer same-sex partner benefits after Detective Kat Cooper was initially denied health benefits for her wife, Krista. The couple was married in Maryland earlier this year.

But Cooper’s mother Linda, who had stayed by her daughter’s side throughout the months long process to win council approval for the benefits, and Kat Cooper’s aunt and uncle found themselves meeting with church leadership on Sunday, who gave them an ultimatum: Repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation, or leave the church, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Cooper’s family, who had been members of the church for over six decades, were told by Willis that support of Kat Cooper was as good as them making an endorsement of homosexuality as being acceptable.

“The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle,” Willis said. “The Bible speaks very plainly about that.”

Kat Cooper’s father, Hunt, said that he was devastated at having to leave the church that his family nearly founded, but the decision was simple for his family.

“There’s no sin to repent for,” he said, adding that his family rejects the notion that being gay is a lifestyle choice.

“My mother was up here and she sat beside me. That’s it,” said Kat Cooper. “Literally, they’re exiling members for unconditionally loving their children — and even extended family members.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Another setback for NOM: Iowa ethics board to keep executive in investigation

Previous article

N.M. county continues issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Next article