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:
Shortly 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...
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.