Minn. Court of Appeals Rules Against Lesbian Golf Coach
The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled against a former University of Minnesota lesbian golf coach and overturned a lower court ruling, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Kathryn Brenny sued the school for reducing her job duties after it was revealed she was a lesbian. Brenny filed a lawsuit against the college’s Golf Director John Harris and the Board of Regents after being removed from coaching golf and offered a sales job at a bank instead.
Brenny resigned just two months after being hired as the U of M’s women’s golf coach. She claims she "didn’t travel to any of the women’s away matches and was not allowed to discuss golf with players in her brief tenure," the Minnesota Daily points out. After Harris hired her, he allegedly discovered that she was a lesbian and prohibited her from performing a number of her job duties.
The suit claims that Harris, who resigned from his job last summer, would only allow Brenny to talk about "boys, life and school."
The complaint also says that Harris did not know Brenny was a lesbian when he offered her the position and the suit charges the university with discrimination, relation and sexual harassment based on sexual orientation. The lawsuit also charges Harris separately for interfering with Brenny’s contract.
"According to Ms. Brenny, from the moment Mr. Harris learned of her sexual orientation, he effectively and completely blocked her from performing her job, for which she was well-qualified, and unilaterally revoked nearly all of her contracted job duties as head coach of the women’s golf team," the suit reads. "Mr. Harris allegedly stated that he would not permit Ms. Brenny to travel with the team to tournaments because he ’discovered [that] she was a homosexual and did not want her on the road with the team.’"
The lawsuit goes on to say that Brenny met with school officials to discuss her job’s duties. The university’s Senior Associate Athletics Director Elizabeth Eull and Associate Athletic Director David Crum told her that her job description would be changing and the her new duties would mostly be housekeeping tasks. When Brenny complained to Athletics Director Joel Maturi the suit alleges that he said, "her choices were to either quit or comply with Harris’ demands."
Brenny decided to leave and transfer to a sales position at TCF Bank Stadium a few days after Maturi offered her a severance package. But Brenny revoked the separation agreement during the 15-day legal period.
Minnesota Public Radio notes that Brenny can still try to sue through a higher court but only if an appeals court agrees to hear the case.