US students protest in support of lesbian soccer coach
US college students organised a protest after their soccer coach was forced to stand down when she informed the school she was homosexual.
Dozens of students at Belmont University in Nashville attended a protest Sunday afternoon (5 December) in support of former women’s soccer coach Lisa Howe.
Howe’s departure from the Christian-based university comes after she told school administrators and the team she and her same-sex partner were having a baby.
The university said last week that Howe did not resign from her employment nor was she dismissed but rather the two mutually agreed to part ways.
“Although I love this school, I sincerely disagree with the practice of firing someone because of who they happen to love,” sophomore Dorian McQuaid said, adding, “As a student of the school, it makes me feel unwelcomed.
“I am a member of an underground gay-straight alliance and I feel that they are basically in danger. Now they’ve said it, they’re anti-gay.”
Erica Carter is a former soccer player of Howe’s and came out Sunday afternoon in support of her former coach.
“She’s awesome, she’s a great person, she held us to a really high standard,” Carter said, adding, “I hope they see that it’s affecting more than just the soccer players and that this is a bigger issue, it should be addressed on many higher levels.”