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Cincinnati Christian School Asks Teacher if He's Gay, Fires Him: VIDEO


Jonathan Zeng, a singer and music teacher from Cincinnati, was offered a teaching job at Cincinnati Hills, a nondenominational Christian academy, which he accepted. Several hours later he was called in, asked if he is gay, and fired. He describes what happened after he accepted the job in a letter to the school board's trustees:

ZengShortly after the conclusion of this meeting, Mr. Thompson called and asked me to return to complete some necessary business they had forgotten. He explained that there was an issue weighing on his mind because of my application answers regarding my belief in Christ's unconditional love and that we as Christ's followers are to show that love to all without judgment. These responses prompted him to ask if I was a homosexual. I was completely taken aback by this and asked why that was important. He explained that it was school policy not to employ teachers who are homosexual. When I asked why, he said that it was because I would work with children and because of the sanctity of marriage. I can't begin to say how offensive and painful his comments were. I had no idea the school held such a viewpoint. Mr. Thompson was kind enough to offer me a ride, which I refused.

Towleroad has obtained a full copy of Zeng's letter and description of the incident.

Read it and watch a report from WCPO, AFTER THE JUMP...

Gannett reports:

Federal laws probably won’t protect Zeng from job discrimination on the basis that he is gay, but a local ordinance might, said Scott E. Knox, a Cincinnati lawyer who specializes in employment and discrimination law. He said Cincinnati’s Human Rights ordinance, which went into effect in 2006, makes it a criminal violation for Cincinnati employers to discriminate against someone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The penalty is, at most, a $1,000 fine, he said. The ordinance has not been used in court yet, he said. The ordinance also exempts religious institutions, he said, but it might still apply to a private school.

HRC has launched a petition letter to the school.

Continue reading "Cincinnati Christian School Asks Teacher if He's Gay, Fires Him: VIDEO" »

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #757: It Gets Better Edition

Noah's Ark's Darryl Stephens, Margaret Cho, LGBTQIA University of Cincinnati students, alumni and staff, and Gloria Estefan lend their voices to the "It Gets Better" campaign.

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News: Bullfighting, Russell Brand, NASCAR, Cape Town, CBS

Road  Same-sex marriage off to slow start in Portugal: 20 couples have married.

Bullfight RoadSpanish region of Catalonia bans bullfighting: "The ban — the first in mainland Spain — was hailed as a major victory by animal welfare groups that have long crusaded against what they consider to be a barbaric and outdated practice."

RoadRussell Brand wears his undies to church — for remake of Arthur.

RoadNathaniel Rogers hits the Mad Men premiere in Times Square.

RoadOld Spice's recent YouTube viral campaign was a huge success. Sales of its Body Wash are up 106%.

RoadGreat White Shark tagged off Cape Cod.

RoadCincinnati Episcopal priest resigns over gay issues within the church: "The Anglican Communion has been in a state of crisis for several years over the choice of the American Episcopal Church to ordain bishops living in openly homosexual relationships and to pronounce liturgical blessings on people living in same sex relationships."

RoadJoan Rivers spotted shooting her reality TV show.

RoadSorry, not yet. Probably never.

Askars RoadAlexander Skarsgard is the new face of Hickey Freeman.

RoadThe NYT looks at how marriage equality has affected Cape Town, South Africa: "More than 3,000 same-sex couples have been married in South Africa, with about half of those couples including at least one foreigner, the government says. The law permitting same-sex marriage has begun to pave the way for greater tolerance of homosexuality, advocates contend, and the weddings have provided a shot in the arm to companies catering to those tying the knot. 'Apartheid suppressed tolerance, but once that was out of the way our society has moved so fast and most people just go with the flow,' said Mr. Brits, a nondenominational minister."

RoadTexas Alcoholic Beverage Commission TABC has only made 81 arrests in 2010 for public intoxication as opposed to 761 in 2009. Did the Rainbow Lounge Raid in Fort Worth have something to do with the decrease?

RoadJames Franco's request to teach "special class" at Yale denied.

Hercules RoadA Q&A with Hercules and Love Affair's Andy Butler.

RoadFederal judge upholds dismissal of Michigan counseling student who refused to treat gay clients because of her religious beliefs: "In an order granting summary judgment to the university on Monday, Judge George Caram Steeh of the U.S. District Court in Detroit held that the university's requirement that the student be willing to serve people who are homosexual was reasonable, and did not amount to an infringement of the Christian student's constitutional rights to free speech and free expression of religion."

RoadCBS President Nina Tassler and CBS "not happy with ourselves" over failing grade from GLAAD on LGBT representation.

RoadNJ library removes Queer Anthology, cites child pornography?

RoadPhoenix International Raceway reaches out to gay NASCAR fans: "PIR recognizes that they have a very diverse fan base and they want to reach out to all of them. While covering the Subway Fresh Fit 500 in April, founder, Michael Myers began conversations with Phoenix International Raceway officials. To his knowledge, Myers said that this will be the first time that any NASCAR sanctioned facility has reached out to fans in the L.G.B.T. community. 'Just a small push like including the L.G.B.T. community on the official web site of Phoenix International Raceway is a step in the right direction for uniting the different stereotypes that surround the racetracks on a weekly basis' said founder Michael Myers."

Larry Johnson to Sign with Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are signing former Kansas City Chiefs running Larry Johnson just over a week after he was released following a suspension for calling two reporters "faggots" and directing a similar slur at a fan on Twitter:

The Kansas City Star reports: Larryjohnson "Peter Schaffer wrote in an e-mail that Johnson's deal would be finished early Tuesday, a day after Johnson reportedly was in Cincinnati to meet with Bengals coaches. Reports surfaced Monday that Johnson, who was released last week by the Chiefs after 6 seasons, was being courted by the Bengals after running back Cedric Benson suffered a hip injury in Sundays win against Pittsburgh. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told local reporters Monday that, if his team signed Johnson, the 29-year-old rusher would be insurance to Cincinnati's ailing running backs corps. Johnson will at least start his time with the Bengals as their fourth-string running back."

Equality Cincinnati called the move by the Bengals "a slap in the face."

Said executive director Lesley Jones: "We do not think that would be a favorable decision on the part of the Bengals. We would see this as a slap in the face to all the work we've done for equality and LBGT rights in Cincinnati. [The Bengals] must take action to prove that they support equality and LBGT rights in the city."

Ohio Lawmaker Proposes Repeal of Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

An Ohio lawmaker has introduced legislation to repeal the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the Columbus Dispatch reports:

Yates "Rep. Tyrone K. Yates, D-Cincinnati, introduced a resolution Tuesday that would eliminate Section 11, Article 15 of the Constitution, an amendment known by supporters as the Defense of Marriage Act. Voters approved the amendment by a 24-point margin in November 2004. The resolution is, to say the least, a long shot to pass. Making the ballot requires a three-fifths vote of each chamber. Even if every Democrat voted yes (an unlikely prospect), it would fall well short of the required votes."

The amendment reads: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #568

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