Cordova Tennessee Civil Rights: Gay Coach Banned from Church Softball League

06/22/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL , USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Cordova, TN—A softball coach was kicked out of a local church softball league after the religious establishment learned of her sexual orientation. While a civil rights attorney claims Bellevue Baptist Church did not break any laws in dismissing the gay coach from the team, he disagreed with their decision, claiming individuals—both hetero- and homosexual—should protest it, according to a June 17, 2010 New York Daily News report.

Reports indicated Jana Jacobson signed up, paid an entry fee and showed up for the leagues preseason organization meeting prior to her discharge. While attending the meeting, Bellevue Baptist reportedly explained the team’s rules, which included but were obviously not limited to, “no alcohol, smoking or cursing and no offensive terms on uniforms.”

Jacobson was later called to attend a follow-up meeting, in which she was told that the church softball league also banned “public displays of affection,” noting that they had obtained information concerning her standard of living.

“Finally, in my frustration, I said that I am going to be clear… I am gay, and I find all of this to be absurd and against the word of God as I know it,” Jacobson said.

Upon directly unveiling her sexual orientation, the church’s recreational minister allegedly told her she could not be part of the team, allegedly stating the church did not wish to appear as if they pardoned her “deviant” lifestyle.

Jacobson continued by stating, “This is silly, we’re simply here to play ball.” Nonetheless, executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, Bruce Gourley contended, “Homosexuality and how Southern Baptists handle that is a huge issue with them. A softball league seems like a minor playing field to take a stance, but that is how seriously [Southern Baptists] believe about this issue.”

Jacobson maintained that even if the church were to reverse their decision, she has no desire to return to the league.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Tennessee Civil Rights Lawyers.

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