CMPD chaplains resign over lesbian appointment

A rundown of coverage by Charlotte media outlets

Over the past few days, mainstream media outlets in Charlotte have reported on several resignations in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s volunteer chaplain force. At the center of the controversy is Police Chief Rodney Monroe’s support of a lesbian pastor who sought to become a member of the unit.

qnotes was first contacted about the controversy by a local media outlet on Nov. 2. We had not heard details about the situation, and throughout the past few days have learned about it as local media outlets explored the story. On Friday, this writer was asked to give a short interview about the situation by WBTV reporter Steve Crump. We reiterated what we believe to be Chief Monroe’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, a commitment he gave publicly to the LGBT community at his open forum at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte last month. That news report is included below.

Below is a rundown of local media coverage regarding the controversy and resignations.

Nov. 2, 2010

The first of any outlet to report on the controversy was FOX Charlotte. They ran a small “teaser” story on Nov. 2.

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Nov. 3, 2010

Cedar Posts and Barbwire Fences, a local blog which follows police news and activities in the city, followed up with an in-depth blog post on Nov. 3.

According to the blog, six chaplains were asked to resign or leave. They included: Jack Munday (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), Pastor Daren McGrew (Grace Covenant Church), Pastor Bill Fogarty (First Baptist Church of Weddington), Rev. Rollo Leimer (Emeritus, Resurrection Lutheran Church), Rev. Hugh Foy (Gateway Baptist Church), and Kristina Franklin.

Cedar Posts writes:

The reasons the clergy have left CMPD are unclear. But according to one source a dispute arose when Chief Monroe told the Chaplain Unit to open up volunteer applications to new members, specifically to bring aboard a friend of his, Rev. [Ed. Note — We have redacted this pastor’s name as sources tell us she is not “out”].

Rev. [Redacted] was unanimously rejected by the Chaplain Unit after they reviewed her application and conducted an in depth interview, but Chief Monroe told the Chaplains they “would” bring her on.

[..snip..]

It was also noted that she was unprofessional in her interview as well. Ultimately the chaplains were not comfortable with bringing her on board and rejected her application.

According to several sources [Redacted] is a well known lesbian minister and a gay rights activist.

From what qnotes has learned, the pastor at the center of the controversy is not out. We’ve decided not to divulge her name in our media.

Cedar Posts also writes, “…the chaplains told Chief Monroe that they would resign if forced to accept [redacted], in part because their churches would not permit their association in a professional status with a homosexual minister. While several of the Chaplains routinely minister to the LGBT community they are bound by certain rules of conduct. To many having an openly gay women in their ranks violated their own congregation’s rules of conduct.”

In response, according to the blog, Chief Monroe “promptly showed them the door,” an assertion denied by the volunteer chaplains and by Monroe in letters later released on Nov. 5.

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Nov. 4, 2010

Following the blog coverage at Cedar Posts, FOX Charlotte ran this story on Nov. 4:

 

Nov. 5, 2010

And, on Nov. 5, two letters from CMPD addressed the story and responded to the confusion.

Chief Monroe responded with a letter directly addressing the volunteer chaplaincy. In it, Monroe says he will “respect the decisions and convictions of those who have decided to resign, as I would never ask anyone to compromise their beliefs. But I do hope that those of us who remain, continue our dedication to this Department and continue to embrace our goal of being an inclusive organization that respects the differences of all of our employees.” Read Monroe’s letter the chaplains here (PDF).

A letter from the volunteer chaplaincy corps was also written and released. It says no resignations were asked or demanded from those chaplains who have left the unit. Read that letter here (PDF).

WBTV aired this story on Nov. 5, addressing concerns over the resignations and the shifting of responsibilities for the chaplaincy force:

 

Nov. 6, 2010

Last, but not least, The Charlotte Observer reported on the story the morning of Nov. 6. Writer Franco Ordoñez delves into the controversy and reiterates CMPD statements that no person was asked to leave or resign. Read Ordoñez’s full report at the daily paper’s website.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.

4 Replies to “CMPD chaplains resign over lesbian appointment”

  1. I applaud the chaplins that have resigned. America is sick; why do we stumble over ouselves tryying to appease gays and lisbians when from the beginning they have been concemned. This is only one of the reasons that our society and America as a whole is in the condition lthat it is.
    Respectfully but totally against homosexuality, not matter what label it may carry.
    Mervin Fox

  2. I applaud Police Chief Rodney Monroe’s support of diversity within the volunteer chaplain force of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The volunteer chaplains that make up this force should understand that they don’t have exclusive rights to the Jesus brand. Christianity is founded on the notion that we are ALL God’s children, not just the ones the Charlotte-Mcklenburg volunteer chaplains anoint. I’m pleased that Chief Monroe was able to discern that the volunteer chaplains’ rejection of this lesbian applicant had more to do with their PERSONAL views of who should and should not be allowed to be a Christian than it did with Christianity itself.

  3. Matt thanks for including a link to Cedar Posts on this story. Looks like most everyone took off with the Gay vs Straight prespective. The real issue is that Chief Monroe changes the rules to serve his game.

    CMPD directives prior just a few weeks ago and still showing on the CMPD web site state(d): “Chaplains are appointed by the Chief of Police” and “Must be recommended by an active senior chaplain”.

    CMPD has put the spin on this story by saying: “the Volunteer Coordinator Unit of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department “now” has the responsibility of vetting all of the department’s volunteers, including those interested in serving as chaplains. The screening and selection process for our volunteer chaplains rests with the Volunteer Coordinator Unit and Major John Diggs”

    Then for good measure: “While Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe is not part of the selection process for our volunteer chaplains….”

    What does it look like to you?

    Was there a game change because a senior chaplain wouldn’t recommend the person in question and Chief Monroe didn’t get his way? Sure does look that way.

  4. Atta Boy, Merv! (Mervin Fox) All human beings should have same exact rights – even bigots like you.

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