Looks like it’s a trending topic this morning.
Fresh off the heels of the fired gay water polo coach comes this shocking story of Jonathan Zeng, a music teacher and gay christian hired by Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, blatantly asked if he were a homosexual, then promptly shown the door.
In a wonderfully written letter provided to Towleroad, Zeng describes what happened directly after he received the happy phone call that he had been hired as a music teacher:
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.
That’s so very sweet of Mr. Thompson, that homophobic bigot.
Current Ohio state and federal laws forbid discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, but not sexual orientation. According to Scott E. Knox, a Cincinnati lawyer who spoke with Cincinatti.com, no federal law protects Zeng from job discrimination on the basis of homosexuality. But, Cincinnati’s 2006 Human Rights ordinance does make it a violation to discriminate for employment based on sexual orientation. But, the ordinance does not apply to religious institutions. But, if the school gets its tax-exempt status as a school, not a place of worship, then the ordinance would apply. Which is it?!
According to WCPO, HRC and Equality Cincinnati subsequently released this:
Cincinnati includes sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination protections. However, HRC respects that Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, as a religious school, is exempt under the law. But that doesn’t make their action morally right.
Can some lawyer please step up to represent Zeng and sort through all this?
Zeng, a Christian who firmly believes in the compassion of Christ, ends his letter with this verse from James 4:12: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?”
On a completely personal, non-story-related note: Is Jonathan single? We would also like to fight for Marriage Equality with him.