Howe: Belmont should institute policy against discrimination

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 3:48pm

After hearing Belmont president Bob Fisher’s statements Wednesday night about the university’s policy on sexual orientation, former women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe reiterated Thursday she would “consider reapplying” for her old job.

Fisher spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday since Howe’s departure. Howe disclosed to her team two weeks ago that her same-sex partner is pregnant. Last Thursday, the university announced she had resigned. On Friday, the school said it was a mutual agreement between the two parties. But several soccer players have said Howe was fired after the disclosure.

On Wednesday, Fisher said during a news conference, “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.”

Howe and her attorney, Abby Rubenfeld, took the statements as a victory.

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

Prior to Fisher’s comments on Wednesday, Howe told The City Paper she would think about returning to Belmont if she was offered her job back.

“I would have to take my time,” she said. “I do miss the team. 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.”

On Thursday afternoon, Howe released a statement through Rubenfeld’s office in response to Fisher’s comments.

“I congratulate and praise Dr. Fisher for announcing this non-discrimination policy, which will set an example for Christian schools and universities across the country,” Howe said in the statement. “I look forward to seeing this policy implemented. I intend for my next job to be in a place where I feel safe and welcome. If Belmont is that place, then I will certainly consider reapplying.”

Howe spent six years at Belmont and compiled a 52-48-16 record.

When asked Wednesday if she felt comfortable during her time at Belmont, Howe sidestepped the question.

“We just had a great experience at Belmont as far as turning the program around,” she said. “My experiences were very positive with that program.” 

27 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 3:13

Nah, as long as they follow the actual law they already are not discriminating. Good work by Belmont for practicing their beliefs and following the law. Belmont is a sliver of red into an isolated pocket of very blue people.

The Gays have their club, what does it matter if it is "recognized". They are not stupidly looking for a lifestyle endorsement to use against other Christian organizations/schools are they. They already control the Episcopal, Unitarian, and a large portion of the Methodists "churches." Why bother with making more people back down and submit to their reasoning?

Curiously, how have the media hyper-ventilators in Nashville not noticed that Trevecca and Lipscomb are not exactly falling all over themselves to bend over for gays? Is it just not their turn yet?

By: gdiafante on 12/9/10 at 3:34

There are some really scary people in this city.

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 3:37

Agree, terrifying. I keep the doors locked and a gun loaded to keep them away from my family, The crazies from the gentrified neighborhoods are the scariest.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 3:37

(The Gays have their club, what does it matter if it is "recognized".)

What? Recognition isn't the issue. The lady was fired because of who she sleeps with.

(Is it just not their turn yet?)

It will be if they do something as dumb as Belmont did. I've got a feeling this won't be happening in this town again any time soon.

Belmont wants only staff and students who fit in to their perceived idylic campus. No sinners allowed! It's seriously laughable. Seriously. What a bunch of dipshits. If they could take it back they would.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 3:41

(Agree, terrifying. I keep the doors locked and a gun loaded to keep them away from my family, The crazies from the gentrified neighborhoods are the scariest.)

Ha!Ha! This is definitely true. I can just see you, locked up in your trailer, with your shotgun and chubby family, eating bologna on white bread.

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 3:51

Love bologna, but haven't had it in years. Someone with a Slavic last screen name probably shouldn't be calling anyone's family chubby though.

Shotguns are way to dangerous for home or personal defense. I prefer something with a single small target that can be carried easily into the restaurants and bars some people are too stupid to realize are not gun free.

That guy sitting next to you Sobchak...there is a good chance he is carrying a gun.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 4:02

That guy sitting next to you Sobchak...there is a good chance he is carrying a gun.

Who? My Dad? Oh he's definitely packing. I am too, by the way. We're going hunting this weekend. I don't carry most of the time though, because I'm not a coward, like you are. I don't live in fear and definitely don't need to carry to feel safe. It's hilarious that 98% of gun shot victims in this country are CARRYING when they're shot, Odds are for you being shot, not me. You're gonna get yourself killed, cowboy.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 4:04

I mean, Macho Cowboy. Sorry.

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 4:11

Nah, I stay out of the gentrified neighborhoods so I will be safe. Interesting use of a 98% statistic. Would you please give me a a cite on that so I can read that particular scholarly journal? Until then I will be forced to assume you were trying to make a point with absurdity.

You know, 95.67% of ducks are shot while their behinds are wet. Better yet, blind horses tend to fall into canyons at a rate that is 3,500% greater than the canyon-fall-rate of tone-deaf armadillos.

By: Alphadog7 on 12/9/10 at 4:21

Belmont's biggest mistake was apparently not having a well-defined policy, not executing it properly, then not speaking with one voice (courtesy of Mike Curb) in the aftermath. Regardless of which side of the debate they come down on, it was poorly executed and played out in the media. If they really wanted her to resign, they should have been prepared to stand firm, explain their position and stand behind it. Ms Howe and the entire community could probably respect that more than this drama played out in the press.

By: gdiafante on 12/9/10 at 4:23

It's sad that in the 21st century, bigots life Jeff still exist. I thought they would have died off by now. Oh well, they will eventually...

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 4:23

Look it up yourself, Jellyroll. And while you're at it, you can also query statistics specific to the fact that well over half of gun shot victims treated in hospitals or taken to morgues annually, are dipshits who shot themselves. You yayhoos crack me up. Fighting stupidity with stupidity.

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 4:34

Why look them up when I have fringe elements willing to make them up on the fly and post them on news sites?

Biggots are indeed awful. Why can't people let Christians do their thing without trying force their reeducation?

The Romans had it right...feed them to the lions until they relent to becoming more like us.

The hatred of Christians and the suppression of their rights in Blue enclaves is truly a scary thing. It eerily parallels the anti-Semitic attitudes of the more "civilized" world in Europe and the Middle East. I guess hatred is only allowed as long as one does it with progressiveness in their heart.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 4:44

Also while you're doing your research, Jellyroll, Query: If you carry a gun, you're twice as likely to become the victim of gun violence.

By: JeffF on 12/9/10 at 4:58

Yes, your risk rises from 0.4% to 0.8% across all age statistical classes. 0.8 is indeed twice 0.4. One negligible number is double that of another negligible number. How does that translate to half of all gun victims are packing? Extrapolation is not good or even logical with your "fact".

I will admit that I did use the stat that excluded battle field and police deaths because their deaths would not be relevant in this particular conversation.

Those deaths percentages to exclude the chances of an American dying with a tropical disease but are less than those of most diseases. You would only be left with qualifying your statistical argument to a slim sample, like males between 16 and 22 living in MSA areas of greater than 1 million people. But that would be an absurd argument since it does not increase the truthfulness of your absolute statements thus far.

Still confused by the Jellyroll label though. Progressives do not like profiling so how would you be able to venture a guess on my medical and personal history? East Nashvillians such as yourself do not do that normally since they are there to improve their neighbors, not label them.

Got to go to the range and get some practice in. Have a good evening.

By: Walter Sobchak on 12/9/10 at 4:59

The hatred of Christians and the suppression of their rights in Blue enclaves is truly a scary thing. It eerily parallels the anti-Semitic attitudes of the more "civilized" world in Europe and the Middle East. I guess hatred is only allowed as long as one does it with progressiveness in their heart.


I've never met so many, so called "Blue" Christians in my life, as we have here in Nashville. I guess they don't qualify with you Righty Political Christians. Fundamental bigot Christians like yourself are no better than Muslim radicals. Same agenda, different target.

By: Nitzche on 12/9/10 at 5:29

Has anyone confirmed if in fact this coach is Gay? We know she is a female by looking at her. But do we have any proof that she is Gay? Has she brought any Gay identification like a birth certificate, drivers license? I am going to need to see some visual proof people are who they say they are! European-Americans cannot say they are African-Americans. Hispanics cannot say the are Russian. The visual proof gets in the way. once the Coach produces credible evidence of her Gayness, then I totally support her, until then, I am going to have to remain skeptical of her Gaay claim.

By: Cold Floridian on 12/10/10 at 8:07

"Belmont has adopted a non-discrimination policy,"

Congratulations on your victory and may God Bless you!

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

By: JeffF on 12/10/10 at 8:55

Yet the Blue Christians get a pass from your hatred there dude? Only those Christians that are willing to bend their beliefs to my own are okay? Real Big Tent of you.

By: gdiafante on 12/10/10 at 10:15

Jeff, you're starting to embarrass yourself. I'd just leave it be.

By: Wild Bill on 12/10/10 at 10:19

Ms Howe or her attorney have never said that she was fired. Why is that? Is it because she was not fired? Obviously, as her employment with Belmont came to an end she had representation in the form of her attorney Abby Rubenfeld and yesterday Rubenfeld said its confidential and its done.

I don't think Belmont will rehire her. And she knows that she is not going to be rehired. This is all theatrics for the gay community. This way she gets to be the heroine or is it hero. So confusing.

Jerome Boettcher, do a little more digging and find out the real reason for her departure. Its out there and someone will talk.

By: JeffF on 12/10/10 at 10:40

Its a shame the Unitarians can't start a college so all these open minded people can get an education without bothering everyone else. Of course there is always the public higher education system, they are more than used to being bullied into tolerance of deviancy and other anti-more policy.

By: GUARDIAN on 12/10/10 at 11:07

GUARDIAN-Stick to your guns Belmont and tell these minions of the left where to stick it.

By: govskeptic on 12/10/10 at 11:48

Great idea Jeff on the Unitarian Univ! I support it fully. Nashville
and many of these posters may have the golden opportunity to
have one right here in pretty short order. One college is ready for
bankruptcy and another state institution ready to be decertified by
the governing board so instead of total conversion of Belmont to
suit them, their own would be the answer. Of course, none would
support that since many still can afford Vandy especially the many
with employee discounts.

By: zmania on 12/10/10 at 12:01

Belmont suppose to be a Christian university and the way they treated this woman is crazy. So what she has a lesbian partner. This has nothing to do with her job as a soccer coach. I trully believe the school overstepped its authority and actions should be taken against it for discriminatory practices.
One thing I find troubling is that they're just now putting together an anti discrimination policy. Makes you wonder how many job and student applicants were turned away because of their gender, race, or other factors. There're federal laws in place to prevent such actions. "Z"

By: Wild Bill on 12/10/10 at 12:25

You are a just the kind of person Ms Howe is trying to manipulate and has apparently succeeded. Belmont is not "just now" putting together a discrimination policy. Ms Howe said it not Belmont. Just because Ms Howe says it doesn't make it so. Quite to the contrary. "Z" go back and this time really read the article and all the other articles written on this subject.

The City Paper has done a pretty good job of reporting on this story by quoting the known facts. Lets see if they will dig and do some real investigative reporting. You might start with some of her players or better yet her "partner".

By: yogiman on 12/11/10 at 12:55

Nitzche, you ask for proof Ms. Lowe is a lesbian. Did I mis-read it when it was issued she told her team she was, and she and her 'partner' wer going to have a baby?

What would you prefer for positive proof; watch her, and her 'partner's activity in bed together?

Belmont is simply standing by the standards they established when you bcame a college.

If you aren't going by you known standards, why have any?

Walter Slobchak, where did you get the numbers on your statements about gun fatalities?

You can place me in the aisle with Jeff. I keep my doors lack and never leave home without my weapon. And amazingly, I have never shot myself.