1. Earlier this month, the city of Collegedale, TN, made history by voting in favor of allowing benefits for city employees in same-sex relationships.
2. This change was especially meaningful to Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper and her wife Krista.
Cooper had raised her concerns to the Collegedale board after her failed attempt to file for benefits for her wife.
3. The passed proposal ensured:
• Collegedale employees who are legally married in any state that recognizes their marriage will be provided spousal and family health insurance.
• Any employee seeking such coverage must produce an official marriage document of the state in which they were married to the Human Resources Manager.
• This policy will go into effect at the beginning of the next renewal period of the city’s employee health insurance program, which is in January.
4. The couple, who were married in Maryland earlier this year, were overjoyed by the decision.
5. What the couple did not expect was for the family’s church, The Ridgedale Church Of Christ, to become involved.
6. Leaders at the church gave Kat Cooper’s mother, aunt, and uncle an ultimatum after services on Sunday.
7. According to The Chattanooga Times, the church stated, “They could repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation. Or leave the church.”
8. The Cooper family have been members of the Chattanooga Church for over 60 years.
A picture of Cooper’s grandfather even hangs on the wall of the church.
9. Pastor Ken Willis attempted to explain the Church’s actions:
The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle. The Bible speaks very plainly about that. 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 […] You don’t condone it. You still love them as a parent.
10. The community reaction to the church’s actions have been mixed:
12. Kat Cooper’s father, Hunt Cooper, said simply of the decision, “There’s no sin to repent for. And she’s not going to turn her back on her daughter.”
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