Community members to stand in solidarity with former softball coach

Posted at 6:19 AM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 07:17:56-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Backlash continues this morning more than a week after a high school softball coach announced her resignation because she and the school have differing views on marriage.

You'll remember we told you West Catholic High School softball coach Kristen Nelson, who has been coaching in Grand Rapids for the last 5 years, resigned after she announced her plans to marry a woman.

Nelson says the Diocese of Grand Rapids made it clear that if she continues with her plans to marry, she wouldn't be able to coach anymore. Her decision to resign is not sitting well with some members of the community who are planning to show solidarity with Coach Nelson by rallying Friday.

The Diocese released this statement that said in part:

As a mission of the Catholic Church, Catholic schools are places where students come to learn and know the Church’s teachings, one of which is the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. For this reason, Catholic school administrators, teachers, or staff members that persist in public acts that are contrary to Catholic teachings disqualify themselves from the opportunity to continue in their leadership role within a Catholic school.

Read Kristen Nelson's full statement here:

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing you this letter. In recent weeks, a parent concern regarding my personal life and relationship has started an unpleasant conversation within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Throughout the course of those conversations, it was made known to me that my future plans to marry my significant other, Maria were “concerning” to them. It has been made clear to me through conversations I have had with the leadership at West Catholic High School, that both they and the Diocese “teach a single view of marriage” and that if I were to continue with my and Maria’s decisions to get married, I would not be able to continue coaching at West Catholic High School.