Belmont Backlash


Tennessee’s Belmont University may be legally allowed to fire its lesbian soccer coach, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t going to make the decision very difficult on the school.

According to an article by Nate Rau The Tennessean:

[Nashville] Councilmen Jamie Hollin and Mike Jameson filed legislation Monday that would void the 2007 agreement allowing Belmont to use E.S. Rose Park for its sports teams. Such a move could require a termination payment of at least $7 million by the city.

Last year Metro passed a new nondiscrimination ordinance, which added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Hollin said the city should not contract with organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

The termination of the Rose Park contract would be a little awkward since the agreement allowing the college to use the park also stipulated that Belmont would renovate the park (at a cost of about $7 million) and pay the city $50,000 a year.

If the school can’t use the park (above), the city doesn’t get any money.

Moreover, according to the article, the contract stipulates that “either side can terminate the agreement by paying back the other party’s investment in the park in the Edgehill neighborhood.” So the city might well have to pay several million dollars for its antidiscrimination stance. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer