Discrimination Hub




Gay Teacher at Detroit Area Catholic High School Says Pregnancy Cost Her Job: VIDEO

Webb

A gay former chemistry teacher at a Catholic, all-girls high school in suburban Detroit said she was fired because of her "nontraditional" pregnancy, the Detroit Free Press reports:

Barbara Webb, 33, of Madison Heights said she’d worked for Marian High School for nine years, also coaching volleyball and softball and serving as student-government moderator. She is gay but said she believes the public, visible nature of a pregnancy led to her firing.

She learned she was pregnant in June, told her employer in July and was fired in mid-August, Webb said. On Aug. 27 she posted on Facebook announcing the firing and encouraging people to “speak out against hate wherever you see it,” according to the post shared more than 1,000 times by Monday.

Today, Webb told the Free Press that her termination letter didn’t give a reason. But her previous conversation with administrators made clear the concerns had to do with a morality clause allowing for firing over public conduct of “lifestyle or actions directly contradictory to the Catholic faith,” she said.

“That you can’t hide a pregnancy from the public is why I was terminated,” she said

Watch a myFoxDetroit report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

School administrators have declined to comment, saying that the situation remains "confidential." Meanwhile, numerous students and alumni have spoken out in support of Webb and a Facebook page "I Stand With Barb Webb" has already gained over 2,000 members.

Continue reading "Gay Teacher at Detroit Area Catholic High School Says Pregnancy Cost Her Job: VIDEO" »


Malaysian Police Arrest Two Women On Charges of Lesbianism

MalaysiaTwo women have reportedly been arrested in the outskirts of the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru on charges of violating Shariah codes on same-sex sexual activity, Buzzfeed reports:

Reports by the Malaysian newspaper Sinar Harian suggest the two women were swept up in a broad morality raid launched around the Southeast Asian country’s annual celebration of its independence from Great Britain. The police had gone to what news reports identified as a “budget hotel” and arrested seven apparently heterosexual couples in other rooms for violating laws against adultery and “close proximity.” The police arrested the two women — both identified as university students — under a code criminalizing sex between women after finding a dildo in their room.

Malaysian women's rights group Sisters in Islam issued a statement defending the two women: 

Citing section 26 of the Johor Syariah enactment, SIS legal officer Rashidi Abd Rahim argued that prosecutors must prove that the act had actually taken place.

Rashidi said that based on the report by Sinar Harian, one of the suspects, who was fully clothed, had opened the door, while another was naked in the bathroom.

The news report, Rashidi pointed out, failed to show any criminal element.

It is believed this may be the first time a female couple has been arrested under the country's prohibition on sodomy. The women face three months in jail, six lashes, and a fine equal to around $1,500. 

Back in 2012, the Malaysian government began holding seminars aimed at helping teachers and parents "spot signs of homosexuality' so that "preventive action" could be taken. 


Gay Couple Ejected From Montréal Bar For Kissing

Dion

A bar in the Latin Quarter of Montréal has come under allegations of homophobia after kicking out a gay couple because a security guard spotted them kissing. As CTV News reports, Universite de Montréal student Gabriel Dion says that while many heterosexual couples were seen making out in the bar, he and his companion were singled out because they are gay:

Bar"We started making out, and hugging each other and that's it," he told CTV Montreal.

Dion said he and the man moved into a stairway for privacy.

"We definitely know some people are not comfortable with that, especially in a straight bar, so we tried to be as discreet as possible. But then a security guard came in and just told us to leave," he said.

The bouncer wouldn't let him and the other man their get their bags before leaving, so they had to ask friends to bring the bags outside, he said.

"I definitely felt disrespected. I felt that there was a lot of prejudice, basically," he said.

However, bar owner Maurice Bourassa insists he did not kick Dion and his partner out because they were gay but rather because they “were in a staircase that's used as a fire escape and therefore must be kept clear at all times” and, according to Bourassa, “the men were conducting themselves inappropriately, with one man lying on top of the other. Their behaviour, he says, was more appropriate for a bedroom than a public place.” 

You can watch a news report from CTV on the incident HERE.


Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

CHI

Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO" »


California Man Sues Little Caesars for Denying Health Benefits to Husband

A former Little Caesars employee has filed a lawsuit accusing the Detroit-based pizza chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for legally married same-sex couples, Reuters reports

Caesars-logoThe lawsuit was brought in state Superior Court in Orange County, regional headquarters for the nation's third-largest pizza chain, by Frank Bernard, 47, who said he quit his job after Little Caesars refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years.

"I didn't want anything special, I just wanted the same benefits package as heterosexual couples," Bernard said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit names Little Caesars Enterprises and its parent company, Ilitch Holdings, as defendants, accusing them of discriminating against Bernard on the basis of his sexual orientation, in violation of California law.

It cites a letter Little Caesars presented Bernard explaining a benefits policy that defined "spouse" as "the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you."

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Michigan, although the voter-approved ban is currently awaiting ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state also has no protection against discrimination in the workplace for LGBT individuals. 

Gloria Allred is representing Bernard. 


Tempe is First Arizona City to Ban Discrimination Against LGBT City Workers in Charter

The citizens of Tempe, Arizona voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve Proposition 475, a change to the city charter that would ban discrimination against LGBT city workers, the Arizona Republic reports:

TempeThe public vote came in the wake of the City Council voting unanimously to approve an ordinance on Feb. 27 that bans discrimination against the LGBT community in areas of housing, employment and public accommodations, such as restaurants and hotels. The ordinance, which did not provide protections for Tempe municipal workers, includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs.

Businesses or individuals who discriminate in Tempe on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, U.S. military veteran status, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, familial status, age or disability now face a civil sanction with a fine up to $2,500. The penalty mirrors fines in Phoenix under a similar ordinance.

The ballot measure read:

A proposed amendment to the Tempe City Charter by the City Council.

OFFICIAL TITLE: A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF TEMPE, ARIZONA, ARTICLE IX, GENERAL PROVISIONS, SECTION 9.01, PROHIBITIONS AND PENALTIES, SUBSECTION (A)(1), ACTIVITIES PROHIBITED.

DESCRIPTIVE TITLE: Shall the Tempe City Charter be amended to prohibit discrimination or favor for city positions on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, political affiliation, disability or United States military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law?

A "YES" vote shall have the effect of amending the Tempe City Charter by including additional categories to be protected from discrimination or favor with respect to city positions.

A "NO" vote shall have the effect of retaining the current charter language.

Advocates hope that the successful passage of Proposition 475 will prompt more Arizona cities to add LGBT protections to existing statues.


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