Talk about a bum rap. Alabama-based youth center worker Lister Portis asked for his job back after being fired for having a gay tryst in his car.
Juvenile Court Judge Edmond Naman dismissed Portis last month after police found him in his car with Mark Bondurant, a 34-year old convicted felon.
Appealing the decision yesterday, Portis’ lawyers accuses Naman of firing Portis for being gay. Lawyer Henry Brewster declared, “This is all about the perception that being gay makes you a pedophile.”
Portis, who worked with the Strickland Youth Center for 18-years, has a sparkling work ethic and at least ten witnesses testified to his good character. Despite this history, Strickland’s top brass objected to his actions – and “not” because he’s gay. Press-Register reports:
Geoff Tynan, an assistant superintendent at Strickland, testified Thursday that he would have handled the disciplinary procedure the same if Portis had been caught in similar circumstances with a woman.
Gary Hazelton, superintendent of the detention center at Strickland, said that he recommended to the judge that Portis either be fired or suspended. Youth center employees, according to Tynan, are expected to act professionally both on-duty and off-duty and certain conduct while not at work can reflect poorly on the center.
Naman, the judge who actually fired Portis, did not attend Thursday’s hearing. United Baptist Church Rev. A.J. Crawford did, however, and confessed to thinking Portis rocks. Only not in those words.