Red Cross fires employee over gay pride celebration

A Christian employee of the American Red Cross was fired from his job last month after expressing his concerns to senior staff about an e-mail from the diversity office notifying him that June was "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month."

Michael Hartman, who had worked at the Red Cross for eight months, received an e-mail in late May distributed by Chief Diversity Officer David Wilkins that declared, "It is my pleasure to announce that June will be recognized as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month at national headquarters ..."

Hartman reported to Concerned Women for America (CWFA) that his immediate supervisor did not care that, as a Christian, Hartman was concerned; thereafter he voiced his consternation to senior officials. Hartman's e-mail to senior management stated, "I would like to start by stating that I am a Christian not willing to compromise my beliefs to promote the agenda of the homosexual community. I would also like to say that I think it's disgraceful that while most of us [at the Red Cross] are trying to save lives, a select few are using this organization to promote their own lifestyles which in my opinion are unacceptable."

Hartman was immediately called into the regional office in Pomona, California, where he was reprimanded for the e-mail they deemed "not appropriate." Hartman, who worked to promote and recruit for the Red Cross, felt convicted to pursue the matter further, deciding to contact the Southern California regional office by e-mail. In the e-mail, he compared how his superiors at Pomona had explained that they choose each month to celebrate some American minority group. "I'm still struggling to see a correlation between celebrating Great Americans and celebrating a sexual preference," he said in his e-mail to the regional office. Hartman also suggested that the Red Cross honor its commitment to diversity by hosting a month to celebrate Christianity.

Hartman was immediately put on "administrative leave" and was called in for a meeting with managers. After refusing to meet with Hartman because he had brought counsel, the administrators terminated him two days later.

"We are seeing an alarming double standard emerging in corporations and nonprofits," said Robert Knight, director of CWFA's Culture & Family Institute. "If you are not in a specially protected group, you don't get the same consideration. More and more, Christians are being harshly disciplined or even fired for actions that would bring a slap on the wrist to a homosexual activist or feminist."

In June, an employee of Allstate Insurance was fired for writing comments in a non-work related magazine that were critical of gay marriage.

Hartman said, "If the public knew what was going on within the Red Cross I have no doubt their unselfish support would screech to a halt."

CWN - Catholic World News (8. august 2005)

av Webmaster publisert 15.08.2005, sist endret 15.08.2005 - 15:11