Huskers assistant Ron Brown will not speak at Lincoln gay anti-discrimination hearing

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Nebraska assistant Ron Brown made waves in March when he appeared before the Omaha City Council to argue against a potential city ordinance that would extend anti-discrimination protections to gay and transgender residents. But with a similar ordinance set to go before the city council in his current residence of Lincoln, Brown says that this time he'll stay out of the picture.

"Everything inside of me said, 'I don't want the media to stop me from going,'" he told the Lincoln Journal-Star in a Sunday story. "Then I realized it was going to be a circus, and everybody already knows how I think. My views stand the same.

"As I prayed about it, I thought it was not in the Lord's will for me to testify."

The Lincoln City Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance at 3 p.m. Monday, a similar hearing to the one in Omaha on March 6, where Brown announced his address as "One Memorial Stadium" and warned Christian councilors they would face "great accountability" if they supported the Omaha measure.

Brown was subsequently admonished by Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman for using the stadium address and not making clear that his personal views were not representative of the university, and a member of the Lincoln Board of Education later called for Brown's firing.

Brown told the Journal-Star that he isn't worried about his employment status, however, and that the controversy over his previous remarks had no effect on his decision.

"Nobody has told me at the university that I couldn't go," he said. "I've gotten assurance from the chancellor that, as a citizen, I can express my views publicly. I mean, this is almost like voting.
"I appreciate the University of Nebraska allowing me to go to the hearing if I chose to do so."

Though Brown has repeatedly and unequivocally labeled homosexuality a sin and shows no signs of backing off his opposition to legal protections for gay Nebraska residents, his letter to the Journal-Star (also published Sunday) claims that he has never violated the university's anti-discrimination policy in his role as football coach. The policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation:

I wholeheartedly agree with UNL's Non-Discrimination Policy. As a follower of Jesus Christ, and a UNL employee for twenty-two years, I haven't, nor will I violate this policy ...

Not all of my players have agreed with the Bible's views. One example, of many, would be those choosing heterosexual sex outside of marriage. Though the Bible teaches this as sin, I haven't penalized them with playing time or discrimination of any sort. Because I love them, I've invested in them even outside of football and gently asked them to consider God's view on it ...

I have and will embrace every player I coach, gay or straight ... but I won't embrace a legal policy that supports a lifestyle that God calls sin.

Brown has served as Bo Pelini's running backs coach since 2008 and has been a Nebraska assistant for 21 seasons, first serving under Husker legend and current athletic director Tom Osborne.

For more on Brown's position on homosexuality and why Nebraska officials should do more to rebuke his comments, read this April 26 Eye on College Football column.

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