U of Minn. Denies Demoting Lesbian Coach

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com December 10 2010 3:55 PM ET

The University of Minnesota is denying claims that it demoted the women's golf team's associate coach because she is a lesbian, after she was allegedly hired under a different job description.

Katie Brenny, 30, was hired in August under the pretense that her new job would allow her to recruit, train, and travel with the women's golf team, according to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul. But Brenny's attorney, Donald Chance Mark Jr., said she was quickly relegated to a desk job while a relative of the person who hired her was commissioned to take on the more desired duties. The coaching job required a bachelor's degree, which Brenny earned from Wake Forest University, where she also competed on the golf team. The hired relative does not have a bachelor's degree, according to the report.

Chance Mark added that he has sufficient evidence to show that the demotion happened once the hiring official found out that Brenny is a lesbian. He did not, however, share what proof he has.

Mark Rotenberg, the university's general counsel, said the allegations are not true. He and Chance Mark are in negotiations to keep a lawsuit from moving forward.