Massachusetts Man Says He Was Fired for Telling Colleague Her Gay Marriage Is Wrong

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    Nov 11, 2009 10:56 AM GMT
    The following story popped up in my news alerts. It's from FoxNews.com, so I won't provide a link, but here's the copy (I've highlighted the copy I found to be the most amusing):

    A manager at a Massachusetts retail store claims he was unjustly fired after he told a colleague he thought her impending marriage to another woman was wrong.

    Peter Vadala, 24, told FoxNews.com he was terminated in August from his position as second deputy manager at a Brookstone store at Boston's Logan Airport after a conversation he had with a manager from another Brookstone store who was visiting the location.

    Vadala claims the woman, whom he declined to identify, mentioned four times that she had married her partner. He said he then left the store briefly to visit the airport's chapel before returning.

    "I found it offensive that she repeatedly brought it up," Vadala said. "By the fourth time she mentioned it, I felt God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter, so I did. But my tone was downright apologetic. I said, 'Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff.'"


    The woman, according to Vadala, then said, "Human resources, buddy — keep your opinions to yourself," before exiting the store.

    Two days later, Vadala, who had been employed for just a matter of weeks, received a termination letter citing the company's zero-tolerance policy regarding "harassment" and "inappropriate and unprofessional" comments.

    "In the state of Massachusetts, same-sex marriage is legal and there will be people with whom you work with who have fiancées or spouses who are the same gender," the Aug. 12 letter read. "... While you are entitled to your own beliefs, imposing them upon others in the workplace is not acceptable and in this case, by telling a colleague that she is deviant and immoral, constitutes discrimination and harassment."

    Vadala disputes using the words "deviant" and "immoral" during conversations with human resources employees on the matter.

    "I did say I regard that lifestyle as deviant, as in deviating from the norm, but I never, ever said to that to the [manager]," he said. "In general, I believe people don't want to hear about controversial issues like that in the workplace. They shouldn't have to."

    Vadala, who has not hired a lawyer, said he is considering filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    In a statement issued to FoxNews.com, Brookstone President/CEO Ron Boire said a "thorough and fair investigation" had been completed in the matter.

    "We do not comment on any specific personnel issues," the statement read. "However I will say that Brookstone is an equal opportunity employer, meaning that we maintain a healthy, safe and productive work environment free from discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, or other factors that are unrelated to the Company’s legitimate business interests.

    "We are proud of our diverse workforce of varying cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."

    Asked why he felt the need to comment on the woman's personal life, Vadala, who has since left the Boston area, said he felt compelled to do so.

    "I see, like all real Christians, homosexuals as people who, like me, are sinners and need to be told the truth in a loving way," he said. "In this situation, I took issue with the behavior. I think it's lunacy to call that type of behavior marriage in any kind of form. I had to express that I'm intolerant of that behavior. It's a love-the-sinner, hate-the-sin kind of deal."

    Vadala said he felt "intentionally goaded" by the manager to comment on her relationship.

    "She knew how I felt about homosexuality," he said. "When you talk to someone about something like that, you want their support. She was kind of looking into my eyes for that social cue for me to say, 'I'm happy for you.' But I really couldn't feel happy for her."
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 11, 2009 12:21 PM GMT
    The appropriate response - "I'd prefer to keep the conversation to work related topics."
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    Nov 11, 2009 12:52 PM GMT
    I would wager, Fox news has a brigade of personnel, who’s only job is to find stories like this one.
    While at my job I had the pleasure of assisting a customer who continually made comments on Obama. She was saying that nigger this and that nigger that…yes, I’m in Texas.
    I bit my tongue for as long as humanly possible then let her have it; both barrels blazing.
    She left the store shaking and in tears.
    I wasn’t fired but given a speech about keeping my opinion to myself.
    During the reprimand I was able to bite my tongue and apologized for my actions.
    However, I will do it again if provoked.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 11, 2009 1:11 PM GMT
    I understand the need to keep your opinions to yourself. In Kansas, I have clients that are far right. I never have a problem keeping my opinions
    quiet, especially when business is involved.

    In the case in point, its a little hard to know what really happened.
    I'm glad to hear about a case like this. The fired employee sounds like a whiner. Maybe next time he'll think twice (maybe not).
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Nov 11, 2009 1:30 PM GMT
    I don't understand why he didn't come to the (somewhat logical) conclusion that god wanted him to get fired.

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    Nov 11, 2009 2:06 PM GMT
    I may be doing a lot of shopping at Brookstone for the holidays this year.
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    Nov 11, 2009 2:09 PM GMT
    Smart move on the company's part. Given the education levels and income levels of the gay community, I most certainly wouldn't want an employee like that on the payroll, who might relay the same views to gay clients who support my business with green dollars.
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    Nov 11, 2009 2:25 PM GMT
    My aunt told me one day "If you don't have something good to say then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Idiot He was not even past his probation and he making waves! If he file a claim with the EEOC he will lose.
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    Nov 11, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    Hahaha...

    Of course she was excited: it´s her wedding! Helloooo? "speaking the truth in love " is just an excuse christians use for being cunts and not feeling bad about themselves. Negative reactions are "persecution". Poor ikkle Christians.
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    Nov 11, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
    I'd bet a beer, (a really good one too) that after he got fired for being a dumb ass he felt obligated to call the local fox channel and make sure they heard, "his side"...
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    Nov 11, 2009 5:05 PM GMT

    We're both betting he would have something very different if she had been his....BOSS! icon_lol.gif


  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Nov 11, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    Wow, that is freaky. I was at that Brookstone and sat in front of it for hours waiting for our flight out of Boston back in late August.

    Anyway, here is his video:
    [url][/url]
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Nov 11, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    As everyone knows, political beliefs aren't appropriate for the work environment. They're to be rehashed ad nauseum on gay athletic sites - preferably with snarky, 'you're an idiot for not agreeing with me' overtones.

    What was he thinking?? icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 11, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    Re: The video (above). The idiot incriminates himself repeatedly. If he had an attorney - the attorney would be advising him to say nothing more. If this ever went to court, the opposing side could take him apart based upon his own statements here in the video. This poor fundamentalist needs to keep his mouth closed - in the workplace and out in the street. He needs to realize it is his mouth that got him into trouble in the first place.
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    Nov 11, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    My goodness, give it a rest. Since when did any one of us become immune to the risk of offense?

    To her: Keep your mouth shut and don't goad him.
    To him: Keep your mouth shut and don't expect that in 2009 this will have no unintended consequences.

    I'm sorry, but "being offended" is just part of being human. It's going to happen, and you need to know how to deal with it when it does, regardless of whether it is warranted or not. This is utterly comical and not worth an uproar.
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    Nov 11, 2009 6:08 PM GMT
    Just listening to the video... he asked the question and then didn´t listen to the answer... he´s just rude.

    Why do these people feel the need to "speak out" against homosexuality? What difference does it make to them?
    So talking about a legal marriage is "harassment" and he felt harassed? What a weeny.

    "that´s bad stuff"

    "I´m not the kind of guy to complain about this stuff".... uh, you are. You´re complaining now.

    FAIL:
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    Nov 11, 2009 6:45 PM GMT
    GotBiceps saidMy goodness, give it a rest. Since when did any one of us become immune to the risk of offense?

    To her: Keep your mouth shut and don't goad him.
    To him: Keep your mouth shut and don't expect that in 2009 this will have no unintended consequences.

    I'm sorry, but "being offended" is just part of being human. It's going to happen, and you need to know how to deal with it when it does, regardless of whether it is warranted or not. This is utterly comical and not worth an uproar.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I agree with you and will add that, I don't like that this guy got fired because I don't think it serves our cause well. His firing gave the christian right talking points as this video shows that if you speak up against homosexual relationships you could and in this case did get fired. If this girl brings up her lesbian marriage 4 times in a day she opened the door for someone to give his/her opinion. Big deal, so he expressed his opinion. unless he pressed his opinion on her and 4 times a day made derogatory statements against her, he did nothing wrong. Now because of this firing ammunition was given to the Christian right to rightfully say that they can't express an opinion without getting fired, and they'll add that its a affront to christianity and on will go the battle. I just don't think this serves our cause well at all !!!
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    Nov 11, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    but how many gays have been fired for just being gay?

    The religious right will say the same with or without data to support them. They will just make it up if it´s not there.
  • Little_Spoon

    Posts: 1562

    Nov 11, 2009 6:59 PM GMT

    Because of the situation, speaking his mind was an inappropriate thing to do.


    Common sense.
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    Nov 11, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidbut how many gays have been fired for just being gay?

    The religious right will say the same with or without data to support them. They will just make it up if it´s not there.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> while it was wrong in the past that gays have been fired for merely for being gay, it doesn't help our cause to turn around and do basicly the same thing in return. While I think the guy was stupid because he ideology is weak at best, he on the other hand was somewhat invited to comment by this woman bringing up the subject 4 times. I know the right will make up shit as they go to win their cause, we don't need to give them ammunition either.
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    Nov 11, 2009 7:18 PM GMT
    Has this guy never worked before?
    It's common sense your opinions stay out of the work place, away from your customers, and away from your coworkers. What he did could be considered harassment, which can definitely get you fired.
    Nothing to do with his religion.

    I wonder if he'll win his case anyway? and how much publicity it will get?
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    Nov 11, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
    ""I found it offensive that she repeatedly brought it up,""

    Fuck him and the traditional marriage he rode in on. All day long, everyday of the year we have to listen to "my husband" this and "my wife" that from people who take it for granted to be able to mention it. The lesbian should send him some wedding photos of her happy day as a follow-up.
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    Nov 11, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
    I just went thru god-awful harassment on a business trip cuz I eat organic food when I can. And, my god, eating broccoli makes people go nutzoid!!! I finally let my boss have it with both barrels when I had had enough and refused to eat with them anymore. And lets not get into the chicken pot pie incident! ... icon_rolleyes.gif

    People do need to keep their views about other people's business to themselves.

    In my company's ethnic video, you cant call a document "retarded" cuz someone might over hear you and might have a retarded family member and be offended.

    I use LOLcats as my computer wallpaper and change it daily....you better believe I scrutinized them for offensibility before I use them. ... icon_wink.gif

    Unless someone had a family member that met with a very unfortunate accident with an elephant, I deemed this one safe to use:

    funny pictures of cats with captions ... icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 11, 2009 7:57 PM GMT
    he´s not been fired for being straight. He´s been fired for saying that he finds the lady to be deviant and her relationship wrong.

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    Nov 11, 2009 7:58 PM GMT
    You guys really need to get a grip. I suppose if a fly were to land on any of you, you would claim gay harassment as well?

    Talk about playing the gay card!