A soccer coach at a Christian college near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was terminated from her position last month after expressing support for LGBTQ people.
Kelsey Morrison, who is gay, was removed from the campus at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on June 2. In April, she posted two messages on Instagram affirming the value of people in the LGBT community.
“Queer people offer precious gifts to the church: Don’t miss out” and “Jesus is radically inclusive,” her messages read.
According to Religion News Service, Morrison, 26, was hired as the school’s head coach in 2021. She did not disclose her sexual orientation during the hiring process because she was committed to being celibate – abstaining from sex outside of marriage.
“I am rather passionate about the value of LGBTQ people,” Morrison told the outlet. “It was really kind of a personal journey and statement for me as well to know that my unique experiences could be valuable to someone who needs that.”
Morrison also shared that she grew up in a Christian household, attended the University of Valley Forge, a Christian school north of Philadelphia, and is an active member of a nondenominational church.
Last year, Morrison acknowledged she was gay after a soccer player asked her about her sexual orientation. During that conversation, she also affirmed her stance on celibacy since it aligns with Geneva’s standards. After informing her boss, the director of athletics, about the discussion with the soccer player, she was assured that her position was secure.
“The premise was like, we’re OK with you working here as long as you never say anything or do anything or act in a certain way or tell anyone — all these really tough stipulations,” Morrison noted.
Although Morrison felt she was cautious with her April Instagram statements, she was told by Geneva officials on June 2 that they did not reflect the school’s values.
One week later, Morrison was fired. Her assistant coach, Dave Symmonds, resigned from his position with the soccer team in protest.
“It’s hard for me to get to a place where I believe that’s how Jesus would have us treat people – is to fire them when they say that they hold value,” Symmonds said. “She wasn’t advocating for people to live that lifestyle. She just said they have value.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Iancu Cojocar
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.