Elders at Ridgedale Church of Christ in Chattanooga, Tennessee have kicked out a mother who publicly supported her gay daughter.

Linda Cooper was told by her local church in a private meeting, that supporting her gay daughter, Kat Cooper, was contrary to the church’s teachings and she would either have to “publicly atone” or leave the church.

Kat Cooper who is a detective with the Collegedale Police Department, had been fighting for health benefits for her same-sex spouse. Her mother Linda is said to have been publicly supportive of her and this is when the rift with the church developed.

Kat Cooper told local media that the church was “exiling members for unconditionally loving their children.”

Spokesman for the church, Ken Willis told local media: “The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle. The Bible speaks very plainly about that.” He added that the church regularly approaches all sorts of people to repent for many kinds of sins.

The church has argued that because the family had been so supportive of their family member they were left with no choice but to act.

The state of Tennessee has no state-wide protection anti-discrimination legislation for LGBT people. Trans people are not allowed to change their gender on their birth certificates. Gay couples are banned from marrying within the state.