Tennessee family banned from church after daughter supports same-sex rights

Family has attended church for more than 60 years

COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. - Just a few weeks after Collegedale becomes the first city in Tennessee to offer same sex-benefits, the family of the woman leading the effort is now facing their own challenge.

11-year police detective Kat Cooper fought for health benefits for her wife, Krista and they won that battle. Now the church Cooper's family attends has given them an ultimatum.

Kat Cooper and her wife Krista thought they won the battle. Krista now has health benefits through the city of Collegedale. But little did they know their problems were far from over.

"Just as my parents have kicked me out of their lives and don't want anything to do with me. This is exactly what this church has done to Kat's mom, uncle and aunt," says Krista.

Cooper says Kat's family have been attending Ridgedale Church of Christ for more than 60 years. Cooper says Kat's mom, Linda was taken into a private meeting room after Sunday service and given an ultimatum.
She was to go before the congregation and repent of her sins or she was to stop supporting her daughter's lifestyle. If she didn't agree to either option, she wouldn't be welcome.

"Her answer to them I think it's been coverable is that she had committed no sin in her mind. Loving her daughter and supporting her family was not a sin. There was nothing to repent about. They certainly couldn't judge her on that because that was between her and her God and it was not their place to judge her for that," says Hunt.

Kat's dad, Hunt says he couldn't believe what he heard.

"We love the sinner but we hate the lifestyle that cliche to me is very, very irritating at this point and time. That's some of the speak you get from people like that that want to claim that," says Hunt.

NewsChannel9 reached out to Ridgedale Church of Christ minister Ken Willis for comment. Although he declined an on camera interview, he sent us this statement. It reads:

"This is an in-church private issue. Because emotions are so inflamed at this point, I choose not to comment any further. The church is overseen by elders. I am a minister, not a pastor and therefore, do not have the authority to speak further on this.The news is getting mixed reviews."

The news is getting mixed reviews.

"I don't think they should be kicked out of church. If you're going to kick out someone, it needs to be the two that are same sex that's married. I do believe in that," says resident Mary Sturdibint.

Others echo the same sentiment.

"When you call yourself a Christian and your part of the Christian faith or world Christian faith, I don't believe you have a right to do what the church did," says resident Ken Stone.