Tennessee Church Kicks Out Relatives Of Lesbian Cop
After openly-gay detective Kat Cooper helped Collegedale, Tennessee became the first city in the state to provide benefits to partners of LGBT employees, a local anti-gay church decided to do the most Christian thing they could think of: kick Cooper's relatives out of the congregation.
Leaders at Ridgedale Church of Christ met in private with Kat Cooper's mother, aunt and uncle on Sunday after the regular worship service. They were given an ultimatum: They could repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation. Or leave the church.
"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."
But the family's support of Kat Cooper was as good as an endorsement of homosexuality, said Ken Willis, minister at Ridgedale Church of Christ.
"The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle," Willis said. "The Bible speaks very plainly about that."
Willis, a father himself, said the church didn't expect the Cooper family to disown their daughter.
"But you certainly can't condone that lifestyle, whether it's any kind of sin -- whether they're shacked up with someone or living in a state of fornication or they're guilty of crimes," he said. "You don't condone it. You still love them as a parent."
"There's no sin to repent for," said Hunt Cooper, Kat's father. "And she's not going to turn her back on her daughter."