NO TEE, NO SHADE

Nashville Club Fires Staffer Wearing “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” Shirt

I-Support-Same-Sex-Marriage_f_improf_321x321We usually think of rock clubs as anything-goes kind of places, but the owners of Nashville’s Rocketown won’t let endorsing marriage equality slide.

According to Hostage Calm guitarist Chris “Cmar” Martin, a friend of the band, Wes Breedwell, was fired from his job at Rocketown for wearing Hostage Calm’s “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” tee shirt.

What I heard from him was a long pattern of discrimination against him for not being Christian and for supporting marriage equality.

Rocketown is a Christian-owned non-profit community center and venue: not a church. And yet, over the seven years he has worked there, he’s been denied opportunities for advancement and salary based on his non-Christian beliefs. Today, Rocketown fired him for wearing this shirt commemorating equality (along with his non-Christian activity on social-media pages).

Wes emphasized that employees routinely wear band shirts at Rocketown. So why did this shirt cause such a problem?

This shirt represents an idea that all people have the right to live their lives without being told who to love and whose love is more valuable. It represents equality under the law. It represents the freedom to choose.

In a complaint form Breedwell provided, his manager insisted “you cannot wear a shirt to work on an office day or a show day supporting same sex marriage” and criticized him for presenting beliefs that “contradict the mission.”

The 40,000-square-foot club, coffee bar and skatepark was opened as an all-ages hangout by Christian artist Michael W Smith in 1994. While there’s always been Jesus-lovin’ in Rocketown—including Christian bands and skate church—artists as varied as Prince, Death Cab For Cutie and Panic! At The Disco have all performed there.

Martin says Hostage Calm is calling for a boycott of Rocketland, and the story is drawing negative attention across the Web. So far, though, the club hasn’t issued  public response.

Photo: Wes Breedwell via Twitter

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23 Comments

  • Shadeaux

    For him to do that in Tennessee is very brave and makes him my new HERO!

  • 2eo

    Yet more christian bigotry, sadly there’s a massive undercurrent in these types of centres where they try and be subtle but because their beliefs aren’t compatible with intelligence they are always clumsy and moronic.

  • Aidan8

    Even after reading John Jeremiah Sullivan’s essay in “Pulphead,” I cannot take seriously “skaters for Christ” and Christian “rockers” and the like. Tacky Christian theme parks, kids “on fire for the Lord,” pastors left and right making idiotic proclamations about storms and other sin-related weather systems… The constant drum-beat by the far-right christofascists that they are a horribly oppressed group… The false notion that the USA was founded by evangelicals as a “Christian country”…. Jesus H. Christ, enough already!!

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    He should get a lawyer and Sue them, the only way to STOP a bigot is to stand up to them.

  • Caleb in SC

    @Aidan8: Have you seen the documentary, Jesus Camp? If not, you must rent it. Absolutely bone chilling.

  • Aidan8

    @Caleb in SC: Hey Caleb. Yes, I did see “Jesus Camp” and, I agree, it was bone chilling. Remarkable that people get away with that in the 21st century. It’s a cult, plain and simple.

  • Aidan8

    Re my comment #6, above, for those who haven’t seen the documentary “Jesus Camp,” the following is a clip under the title “War on Science” but if I recall correctly it’s a clip from the documentary: http://youtu.be/z14iuazhuTQ

  • Jason b.

    We have one of those in Pompano, Fl. I knew it was for kids, didn’t realize it was a Christian non-profit pushing an agenda. Amazes me how un-Christ like these Christian organizations can be. Reminds me of Ghandi’s quote, “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

  • Little-Kiwi

    this guy freakin’ ROCKS. Clone yourself, please.

  • hf2hvit

    I thank him for his efforts but when you lay down with hypocrites, you’re going to smell SHIT.

  • mlbumiller

    do not understand what part of the mission statement he was violating…..

    from their website:

    http://rocketown.com/about/rocketown
    Mission
    Offering hope to the next generation through Christ’s love.

    Vision
    To be the place of peace, purpose and possibilities for youth.

  • Steve Rider

    When I saw the title of this story I knew immediately that Christianity would be involved.

  • queenrosered

    Right there at the bottom of their site is this;

    “In Tennessee, the following are a protected class: race; creed; color; religion; sex; age (40 or over); national origin; physical, mental or visual disability; National Guard membership; and tobacco use during nonworking hours”

    THIS is why it IS so important to include “sexual orientation or preference” as being protected by Federal law!
    It just chaps my ass that any organization/employer can get away with discriminating on ANY basis and still manage to act as though other freedoms (such as right to speech, expression, worship and GUN OWNERSHIP, OMG!) are all that matter. Boneheaded bigots for Christ! This is why I cannot and never will take ANY organized religion seriously!

  • eeaaddgg

    Ha! ‘Christians’ are anything but! They are as intolerant and ignorant a bunch of hateful bigots as that other self-proclaimed religion of love, Islam. Jesus is turning in his tomb. Well done, morons. No freedom for all.

  • Volvoguy

    Just like Jesus would treat the people that work for him.
    This is your Christian Right alive and well

  • murphy0071

    In Tennesee it is fine to tune up your sister or even marry her, but marry someone of the same-sex and the Evangelicals will descend on you like locusts. They devour everything in their path–particularly reason and science.

  • Dakotahgeo

    By any and ALL means, close this faux christian club down… permanently. Jesus Christ was NOT a liar or bigot!!!

  • LadyLady

    Thank you for standing on our side in the fight Wes!

  • emperor28_1

    I hope he doesn’t let them get away with this, as it IS against the law, not on the grounds of sexual orientation (not in TN, anyway), but on grounds of religious discrimination. He doesn’t even need a lawyer! File a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I used to work for the NYS Human Rights Division, so I know what I’m talking about. Even if he doesn’t get his job back (and who would want to work for such bigots, anyway?), he should be able to get some monetary reparation, especially as he has it in writting that he was fired for not being a Christian and following his employers pseudo-Christian bigotry. I’d LOVE to have this case!!

  • Josh and Cody

    Agree with everyone’s concerns on the issue of terminating Wes for beliefs. As a former Tennessee resident, and of Nashville specifically for over 15 years, it continues a disturbing trend in the mid-south part of the United States.

    With that said, I do want to throw into the mix of the conversation that this skate park/club’s views are not a fair representation of Nashville as a community. And while this is clearly about the club, I would hate to give the greater Nashville community an undue black eye. Nashville itself is fairly progressive, and a city I would proudly live in again. Granted it would be better if it weren’t square in the middle of a restrictive State, but the community itself is pleasant.

    We wish Wes positive outcomes and hope this unnecessary event will lead to bigger and better opportunities!

  • KARUADAM

    Martin, my man Yahoo for you baby, go for it homie FUCK Chtirtian.

  • Sky

    i all ready called them and was hung up on Call them too tell them hate is not a good business platform.

  • Victor_in_PA

    I’m sure he did it just to piss them off. That’s ok. He’s in the right just as comment #19 states. He’s got a great lawsuit on his hands. I hope he takes it to court and devastates them. Bigots the lot of them.

Comments are closed.