Man would rather get fired than watch diversity video

Man would rather get fired than watch diversity video

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CHAMPAIGN — A Social Security Administration employee who believes he shouldn't have to watch a workplace diversity video about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, because it violates his religious beliefs, fears he may lose his job because of it.

David Hall, 42, of Tolono has worked for the federal agency for 14 years, based in the Champaign office as an area systems coordinator, an information technology position.

In late April, Hall said, employees nationwide received an email from the agency about a 17-minute LGBT diversity and inclusion training video that they were told to watch at their work stations. Employees were required to certify that they had seen the video.

Hall said he is a Christian — "not anti-anyone or anything," but "for God, for Jesus" — and believes the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin.

So, he didn't watch it.

His supervisor gave him direct orders to do so — first on June 2, then again on June 24. Again, Hall refused both times.

As a result, an official reprimand was placed in his file — the first he has ever received, he says — and he was suspended without pay for two days, Aug. 15-16.

Part of his problem, he said, is that viewing the video is mandatory, something he doesn't remember the agency doing with other training videos in the past. So, he asked his supervisors for a religious accommodation to abstain from the training, which was denied.

After his suspension, Hall returned to work on Aug. 17. He said his supervisor has explained he will receive further discipline, possibly a longer suspension without pay, if he does not complete the video. Hall said he eventually expects he will lose his job over his refusal to do so.

"I think this is an issue they are prepared to go to the mat with, but I'm not going to give up my faith or compromise my beliefs just to go along and get along. I don't believe God wants me to do that," Hall said.

Responding to questions from The News-Gazette on Wednesday, Doug Nguyen, communications director for the SSA's Chicago region, wrote in an emailed statement that "in support of an inclusive work environment, as well as exemplary customer service, the Social Security Administration recently announced a diversity and inclusion training on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community to our employees.

"This mandatory video training reminds our employees of their responsibility, as representatives of the agency, to provide the highest levels of service to our customers," Nguyen went on to say. "The training includes a brief session on tips for increasing cultural awareness in a diverse and inclusive environment. We are unable to comment on specific personnel matters."

Because of what he described as deeply held religious beliefs, Hall said he cannot bring himself to comply. He said he believes the Constitution grants him certain rights and religious freedoms, just as it grants certain rights to others.

Hall said he supports the rights of the LGBT community to support its position, too, and not asking those who work for the federal government to change their views or lose their jobs.

"I'm not judging the LGBT community ... But I believe tolerance is a two-way street," Hall said. "Unfortunately, I believe they're wrong. But neither of us should lose our jobs or livelihood for our beliefs.

"For me, I know I'm not a martyr or a bigot. I'm not asking for anyone's approval or forgiveness; I'm simply trying to live out my life, my faith and be obedient to the will of God."

Hall said he has prayed about this issue and talked it over with friends and family, including his wife and three kids. With a family to support, a mortgage, car payment and health insurance through his job, Hall said he is taking a risk making this stand.

And he said he doesn't anticipate his supervisors changing their course, eventually leading to him losing his job.

"This is something I want to fight and expose," Hall said, "to give other Christians the courage of their convictions. I can't tell you how many I've worked with that have told me, 'Dave, we agree with you 100 percent. I wish I had the courage to do that.' But they're scared. ... Their fears are being realized through me."

Hall said Jason Craddock, a private Chicago attorney, is advising him. Craddock also recently represented the owner of Ford County's Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast, who objected to hosting same-sex weddings for religious reasons.

Earlier this year, the B&B near Paxton that turned down a same-sex couple's request to hold a civil-union ceremony there in 2011 was ordered by an administrative law judge to pay $30,000 in damages to the couple and $50,000 to their attorneys and to stop violating the Illinois Human Rights Act by denying couples access to the facility based on their sexual orientation.

Craddock said he and Hall are still looking at options on how to proceed with the SSA. He said there are many previous cases involving Christians objecting to participating in activities they consider to be sinful, and they are persecuted in the workplace as a result.

"Unfortunately, it's happening more frequently as time goes on," Craddock said.

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EdRyan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 am

He will get plenty of money from his cloud funding after having nailed himself to that cross.

smcg wrote on September 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

The pizza place in Ohio made $375,000 for refusing to serve a same sex wedding they were never even asked to do in the first place. The OR bakers made over $500,000 for their "god" righteousness. 

Bartski wrote on September 11, 2016 at 8:09 am

   He works for a government agency, meaning his wages & benefits come from the tax dollars of everyone, not just religiously intolerant tax payers. SS is not interfering with his ability to believe what he wants. HE is trying to force the government agency to live & function according to HIS personal beliefs , as well as tax payers of every stripe.

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm

He is not refusing to do his job - with and for anybody. He is questioning why his job is now being made dependent on his viewing a "diversity" video with a particular focus that he is opposed to. He is not declining to serve people of any categorization; he is declining to watch a video that he says implies an endorsement of a sexual orientation that he is morally opposed to. He has never had any issue or reprimand around "diversity." He indicates this issue is not about diversity but is about forcing that he participate in the promotion and endorsement of something he is morally/religiously opposed to; he asserts he will not discriminate in any way in his JOB practices but that he will not watch a video about one singled-out aspect of "diversity" when he has never acted in anyway antagonistic to "diversity" in his job performance. His key point that he indicates supports his opinion of this forced video-viewing as being something that promotes and endorses a particular orientation is that, he says, no other category of "diversity" has involved a video that employees were required (forced) to watch. He says that this one, singular video, because no other category involved a similar video, implies promotion of the orientation or behavior in question. It seems ironic that he can be fired for not watching this one video about this one category when apparently he has never been reprimanded for discriminatory practices nor had any other negative evaluations. He says he is not opposing "diversity" and never has. So he is doing his JOB. All that he is not doing is watching one video about diversity when he has shown respect, or at least tolerance, for diversity in general and has not been discriminatory in his job practices. The irony is that, in this whole scenario, HE is the only who is being discriminated against in employment and his (religious) orientation and (religious) behaviors are being discriminated against and are subjecting him to loss of livelihood. These days people can be, and are being, fired - and publicly harassed and threatened, shunned and ostracized - for expressing/showing their disapproval of certain behaviors and "lifestyles" while those who exhibit those behaviors and "lifestyles" are free to demand discrimination against those whose religious beliefs direct them in certain ways.

IndigoB wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 am

“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”  Anne LaMott

Bulldogmojo wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 am

 

Religion is poison...

As Jesus (who never existed) said to the Roman soldier, "hey I think the guys on the other two crosses are gay social security administration employees. I won't be crucified with people like that."

I think they need to start revewing his work for any trends in rejection of benefits.

He needs to go live with Kim Davis

ChampaignLibertarians wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 am

Mr. Hall does have the Constitutional right to believe whatever he likes. He does not have the right to a government job, however. The government must treat all citizens equally, regardless of their biological plumbing or what they like to do with it, and if someone can’t deal with that (like Kim Davis), then government agent is not the job for them.

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm

You are 100% correct, but the report is not that he was refusing to do his JOB. His refusal was for being required to watch a video, not about diversity in general - he says that has not been required for any other category usually covered by "diversity" - but only about one category, these sexual practices and orientations, and he indicates that the single-focus of that implies endorsement and approval, something he says his religious beliefs prohibit him from. He has never said, nor apparently has his work history ever indicated, that he discriminates in his JOB performance, including issues of diversity. So it is only the watching of a video about one particular issue, a sub-category of the broader category already covered, "diversity." Should he be required to watch videos about bestiality? About pedophilia? How about necrophilia? If not, how can you defend your argument, since it is very likely that some people who come to his office for service will fall into those categories, however vile and despicable any normal person might consider them? Unless a SS client discloses those behaviors to an SS employee, how does that employee know? Are the LGBQT people in question coming in to apply for disability on the basis of ther sexual orientations? If so, WHY? Are they "disabilities?" WHY would they be "disabilities" if we all being forced to claim we consider them to be "normal?" If these people are coming simply to sign up for Social Security (not SSDI), then what do any of those categories have to do with anything? The groupthink being forced upon everybody about so many things seems straight out of Orwell and the best way to think about it all is simply to marvel at George Orwell's amazing prescience. I think the news reports about the B & B somewhere in the area that refused to host the wedding for two gay men, they sued, and the subsequent news reports were of the court punishing the B & B with ever-increasing, never-ending fines to the point where they would be (or already are) forced out of business were very alarming. Nobody was prohibiting those two men from exercising what is now legally protected right to marry; that business was simply declining to be the ones to host it - (and hosting meaning endorsing it) - based on their religious beliefs. Somewhere along the way, in a very short period of time, religious rights have gotten overridden by rights of sexuality. Nobody is preventing the B & B owners from practicing their religion - until that practice is confronted by sexuality that, until not so long ago, outside societal norms. Suddenly they are presented with the choice of abandoning their religious beliefs or loss of their business. That gay couple simply went elsewhere to hold their wedding. Why do they need to force the B & B owners to bow to an implied endorsement of the legitimacy of their "lifestyle" and orientation, when the B & B was not trying to prevent them from that orientation, only choosing not to participate in the affirmation of it.

Sexuality in all and every iteration seems to be the only right that the U.S. is eager to force all to either endorse (or feign endorsement) and protect, whereas, religious freedoms which were part of the reason for the founding of this nation, are being negated right and left. It seems that the only thing America is actually growing in is public display of sexuality and the enforcement of societal acceptance for anything at all. When "anything goes" and there is no other kind of (legitimate) progress, what kind of society is it? Look to Roman history, perhaps.

bones1 wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 am

I think this guy will probably lose his job, as it should be. The bible doesn't set the work rules for the Social Security Administration, and of course he is free to consult the bible when deciding how to live his life.  I don't think the bible mentions watching videos about how to treat people decently in the work place but then again it has been awhile since I cracked it open.  I suspect he is sitting next to, or near some of those threatening LBGT people, and possibly even sharing the restroom or lunch table with them.  I know that they have actually been in the building because I've been in there and I am *gasp* GAY.  I don't recall if he was the one that helped me because the whole experience was soul crushing but he might have been.  I hope he was.  I want him to think about that.  What is it about a training video that would be so difficult for him?  As a government employee that worked for many, many years in a variety of workplaces I watched a lot of videos, and attended a lot of training classes intended to broaden my world view.  Some were good, some bad but not one of them offended me or indicated that I was somehow going to be subjected to religious damnation. If there is such a thing.  This man seems like he is looking for a reason to be offended, and I guess he found one. 

Lostinspace wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 am

I respect Mr. Hall's beliefs, which include, "Render unto Caesar..."

Mr Dreamy wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 am

If he doesn't like living in America with American laws he can move to where he won't have to watch such videos, such as Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. 

wayward wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 am

Actually, I don't remember Jesus saying anything about homosexuality, period, in any of the New Testament. And a religious prohibition against watching a diversity training video seems bizarre. It's not like they asked him to view gay porn or attend a same-sex wedding. What church does this guy go to -- Westboro Baptist?

speedracerfan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Jesus is very clear in the Bible about sex and marriage and ties it to Genesis and God's creation of humans as male and female - In the beginning the Creator made them male and female. Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and the two become one flesh. Therefore what God has united man must not divide. (Mark 10:6-9, Matt 19:4-6). All Christian denominations still faithful to the Bible believe this teaching including Catholics, Baptists etc. Also Muslims believe this as well as orthodox Jews.

wayward wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 pm

But in those passages, Jesus was responding to a question about whether a man should have the right to divorce his wife at will, as Deuteronomy said. The question had nothing to do with homosexuality.

speedracerfan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 pm

It absolutely has to with marriage and sex. The specific question was about divorce - the permanence of marriage - but you'll note Jesus ties sex and marriage to our very creation as man and woman. That is complementarity of male - female. He did not ok homosexual relations (which were not unheard of at that time) That's God's plan - man and woman coming together as one flesh. To be fruitful and multiply. If you are looking for more specifics on homosexual acts check out Romans 1:26-27 although that was St. Paul and not Jesus.

Phil S wrote on September 09, 2016 at 9:09 am

Romans 1:26-27 is about punishment for idolatry, but if you want to take it out of context, feel free.  Many others have done so as well.  As for me, I'm saved by grace.  For those who are not, you have to obey EVERY part of the Old Testament law.  I sure wouldn't want to be you.

smcg wrote on September 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

According to the 1st Amendment of the USA, your "god", his bible and his rules do not create law in the USA so I don't have to care one iota what he thinks as this is not a theocracy as much as your kind would like your religion to be forced onto everyone. Atheism in the USA is 25% and growing fast! Enjoy!!!!

Automan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 10:09 am
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Not sure how viewing a film about how to treat people respectfully is a violation of God's commands, but the guy is making the choice to put his job on the line. "Exposing" his job plight so as "to give other Christians the courage of their convictions" sounds like he wants to be a martyr. Did he approach the News-Gazette with the story?

blankman wrote on September 09, 2016 at 6:09 am

He probably expects to make a fortune when other fundies decide to crowdsource his defense.

Phil S wrote on September 08, 2016 at 10:09 am

I'm gay, and I'm nearing retirment age.  I don't feel that this man can fairly and competently process paperwork for me or my partner.  He should be fired.

speedracerfan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

As a Christian should I assume all atheists would not competently process paperwork for me? Only people who believe exactly what I believe would competently process paperwork? As Mr. Hall said - tolerance is a two-way street. Not everyone at every government agency will believe the same things as their clients. Has nothing to do with competence.

Bulldogmojo wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 pm

 

Well this guy has revealed himself as a religious zealot against persons who don't subscribe to his narrow religious ideology to the point of being phobic about a film designed to keep people like him and you so called Christians from marginalizing LGBTQ people seeking benefits. Do you think these training issues arise out of thin air? Obviously official complaints within SSA generated the need for this training. Equality freaks you religious people out because inequality is mandated in every religious doctrine (that's how the submission works). but hey let's ask Thomas Jefferson what he thought about separation since he authored the 1st amendment.

Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

Phil S wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 pm

News flash.  Many LGBT people are Christians too.  And there's more involved than just "processing paperwork."  Decisions made by the Social Security Administration can determine whether a person receives disability payment for an injury or illness that makes it impossible for them to work.  This is a matter of life and death for some.  The SSA is only asking this man to watch a 15 minute video on how to interact with LGBT people and treat them with dignity and respect.  This is clearly something he is not williing to do, and he has gone out of his way to say that he cannot work fairly with LGBT people.  If he cannot follow simple job requirements, he should be fired.

 

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Because you "don't feel this man can fairly and competently process paperwork for you...." you want him fired?! Based on your "feelings?"!!! IF he actually demonstrated that to you WHEN you actually had a business encounter with him and you had actual facts on your side, then you could make such demands. To demand that someone lose his livelihood based on your ANTICIPATED, UNFOUNDED experience of "feelings" in the future, is totalitarian, draconian, cruel and illogical! What about the non-gay people who have problems with their Social Security paperwork? Should all of those SS workers be fired?? How about the IRS workers or the workers at - well, ANYWHERE USA - who don't fairly and competently do their jobs for ANY customer at all? Should they all be fired?? Have you never been treated rudely or unkindly or incompetently out in the real world? Do you think it is ALWAYS and ONLY because you are gay? Do you ever think it might be something else? Good grief, people. This is just bizarre. He should NOT be fired unless his incompetence is displayed in his WORK and unless you can prove he was incompetent because YOU are gay! And why would you "feel" the need to tell him what your sexual practices are anyway? Do you imagine that heterosexuals go into the Social Security office or the Secretary of State's office or the local car dealer's and announce: NOT gay! Here's what we do in the bedroom! Listen! Watch! You must or else you are a very bad, incompetent human being! YOU may not have YOUR beliefs, but WE will have all of ours and YOU must endorse and embrace them or else YOU are bad and incompetent!

wykhb wrote on September 08, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Well justice warriors, here's your chance to practice that fairness you scream of:   Hillary Clinton does not recall completing ANY of her required Federal Training on multiple issues such as Classified Material Handling, Preservation of Government records, Information Security.      These are all also mandatory training for ALL Federal Employees.        Insert outrage here:  .

EdRyan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 3:09 pm

I don't recall reading anything here about anyone screaming about justice.

ottawab wrote on September 08, 2016 at 4:09 pm

what?... this is a person in a tax payer funded job that is refusing a simple task by his manager to complete training on how to treat people well and deliver good customer service... 

Not sure what this has to do with "justice", Clinton, or "religious freedom"... 

You need to watch less election coverage on fox news and get outside, take a mental health break

Phil S wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 pm

You must be commenting on the wrong article, because this has NOTHING to do with Hillary Clinton. But since we're on the topic. I'm sure that there are records of what training Hillary Clinton was required to take, and whether she took it or not, regardless of her recollections.  Feel free to google it.

ottawab wrote on September 08, 2016 at 4:09 pm

it is sad that this man would try to turn a non-issue (taking training on how to treat people with respect, that has nothing to do with condoning or celebrating something you are opposed to) into something that could cost his family his income... he is trying to make himself a martyr and into something bigger than he is. We will likely see his go fund me page soon or him up on the conservative speaking circuit --- because that is the real end goal... MONEY... nothing Christian about disrespecting people, nothing the the Bible that would not allow someone to be trained on and treat gay people with respect (in fact it commands treating people with respect), nothing truly Christian about the actions of this man.  

C mon man wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Maybe the video should be just about treating people with respect and leave the LGBT crap out of it. I bet if the video was all inclusive he wouldn't have a problem watching it. Why does it have to single one group out? Does respect have a different definition with gays than it does with anyone else? All you commentors are assuming that because he refuses to watch, that he is disrespectful to a group of people, but in the article it does not say or imply that he has been disrespectful to anyone, only that his beliefs don't align with theirs. Maybe his Christian beliefs have led him to be respectful to everyone - thus no complaints against him, and he does not need to watch the stupid thing. 

C'mon, man, quit assuming the worst.

Bulldogmojo wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 pm

 

I haven't committed any ethics infractions but as a University employee I still have to participate in the ethics training. So what's your point?

How does this guy get to bypass the authority of the SSA and mandate his own training ala Carte? He's a public employee paid by taxes and yes taxes from gay people too who are commonly discriminated against and even killed in America just for being gay. So maybe wake up and smell the homophobic bigotry this guy is broadcasting to his bosses in a public government job.

He should go be a storefront minister so he can be afraid of people different from him full time.

I would pay good money to see this guy's browser history

Phil S wrote on September 08, 2016 at 8:09 pm

He's not being asked to watch a porn video--it's about treating LGBT people with respect and dignity.  It's clear that he can't handle that, and it's especially scary that he could be making decisions that affect peoples' Social Security benefits.  Yes, people can appeal adverse decisions, but do you know how hard it is to do that?  It's time-consuming, and can be expensive if you have to hire a lawyer.

Also, he's going out of his way to demonstrate animus.  He could simply play the video on his computer with the volume muted and go off and do something else, and simply tell his supervisors that he watched it.  Instead, he's trying to make a point of how he cannot deal with LGBT people at even a most basic level.  It is a requirement of his job that he treat all people with dignity and respect.  If he can't handle that, he's in the wrong line of business and he SHOULD be fired.

Urbana71 wrote on September 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm

All excellent points.  But you won't ever see a workplace video about respecting everyone because the people behind the training are not objective - and they are ALWAYS victims.  Ever seen any training that said something like "some people are fundamentally opposed to gay activity so don't assume   everyone is on your bandwagon.  In other words, respect everyone and don't assume anything."  Now that would be a fair and balanced way to train people.

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

And in fact he has said that, like all the SS employees, he has had diversity training and he has no objection to diversity training, nor has he demonstrated discriminatory practices for any group typically covered under the diversity training. He questions the selective and singular training video of this one group all based on certain expressions of sexuality. If he has already gone through "diversity training" and if he has never been reprimanded or had any employment issues around diversity, why is this one video on this one subject being used to harass him towards very likely being fired? Who exactly is being discriminated in this story? He has done nothing discriminatory. His employer is discriminating against his religious beliefs AND the many gay or LGTBQ people here are lighting their torches for his being fired! He hasn't DONE anything. He BELIEVES something and most of you are saying "off with his head!" The cruel self-absorption is astounding.

vcponsardin wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of worship.  It doesn't guarantee freedom of exposure to other ideas or religions.  If watching a short instructional video on LGBT people might undermine your religious beliefs, then your faith wasn't really that strong to begin with.  And ultimately whose problem is that?

speedracerfan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

It does NOT allow "freedom of WORSHIP" but the 1st Amendment restricts the government from "impeding the free EXERCISE of religion" - big difference. I can take my religious beliefs into my life and not just leave them at the doors of the church. I should be free to "exercise" my faith and not be restricted. Last year's SCOTUS ruling has pitted itself against a specifically enumerated right as listed in our Bill of Rights. Also as was admited in oral arguments - it may threaten many church's tax exempt status.

smcg wrote on September 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

So because your "god" says that you must kill all non believerts you think you have the right do to so because of your religion? 2nd chronicles 15 13 no different than ISIS. I read daily of "good" christians advocating death to all LGBT because they think their religion is supreme to any others. Why does your mighty and powerful "god" need to advertise in my mail? Why does your deity need to give away vacations, guns, TV's, gift cards to get people to attend church so he can be praised? When was the last time an atheist came to your door trying to sell you their views? If your "god" listens to prayers, then why did he let Dylan Roof murder those who were praying to him not to let them die in his own "house of the lord"? 

someguy19000 wrote on September 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

Last time I checked a business was not a church, and a Government department certainly is not a religious building at all. Yes, you're free to exercise your religion but keep it out of my tax dollar funded Government.

I wonder what kind of fit would be pitched if the SSA hired a proud and out worshipper of Satan and stuck him in the cube next to this guy. It's all reiligious freedom until it's a different religion from yours.

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

If I understood this SS employee's statements correctly (his TV interview), he said that he has gone through all diversity training, that he has never had any issue with diversity or in the practice of his job fairly and without any unfair discrimination. He indicated that he finds the single-issue, single topic video about LGQBT orientation -outside of diversity training overall and in general - implies a promotion of that orientation, an acceptance of it and he disapproves of that aspect of it. He did not seem to object to anything about "diversity" in general and he has been through that kind of training without objection. He indicated that he thought the fact that this area of sexuality was warranting a separate video and singular focus implied a different attitude about it that he was being forced to endorse it as a result of that setting it apart, outside of respecting diversity in humankind in general.

C mon man wrote on September 08, 2016 at 5:09 pm

You flamers need to take a break. Nowhere is it said he disrespected anyone. He has never had disciplinary action taken on him in his job. He is obviously capable of doing his job or he wouldn't have been there that long. What is silly is that the government "mandates" this stupid training.

Professionally, I treat everyone with respect whether they are black, white, brown, queer, straight, confused, just plain dumb or think their mother was a toaster. I would not watch a video on how to treat anybody because it is a non-issue. I treat everyone the same, and if I am having a bad day everyone else suffers right along with me no matter who/what they are or think they are. Maybe that is what he is saying when he says he is "not anti-anyone or anything". 

If you come to my house asking me too sign a petition to let grown men use the women's restroom because they say they think they are women, I am going to tell you what I think and slam the door in your face - maybe even steal your pen. If the same you comes to my office applying for a job and respect me by not bringing up said subject, assuming you are capable, I am going to give you a shot at the job. That is professional respect and courtesy. What he is saying is he shouldn't have to watch it because he personally finds the subject repulsive and against his beliefs, but he obviously has the professionalism to get along without the training video.

C'mon, man get off the dudes back.

Automan wrote on September 08, 2016 at 6:09 pm
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Finally, someone who doesn't discriminate based on whether someone thinks their mother is a toaster. How long we have waited for acceptance.

smcg wrote on September 10, 2016 at 11:09 am

When was the last time a church goer came to your door to SELL your their "god"? When was the last time an atheist came for the same purpose? If your "god" is so mighty and powerful then why does he need to advertise in my mail? Why does your almighty need to give away gift cards, vacations, cars, TV's and guns to get people to go to church to believe? I ask every new business I enter if they are christian and if answer yes, I leave and let them know I could never do commerce with THOSE kind of people for they will slop sugar to your face while figuring the best way to stab you in the back. 

annabellissimo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm

So you are proudly proclaiming that you discriminate against a business owner if they answer your question about their religious beliefs by saying that they are Christian, is that right? And yet if that Christian business owner tells a gay couple that he/she will not host their wedding at his/her B & B, that business owner will be punished into the poor house and you think that is fine. Or if that Christian business owner ask you, the customer, if you are gay and you said yes and the Christian business owner said he/she cannot take your business because of that, you - presumably - would support that Christian business owner's being punished, right? And the punishment would exceed the simple loss of your business, but he/she must be further punished in the media, courts of law and financial destruction, right? All because YOU don't like Christianity. By the way, "THOSE kind of people" that you made a nasty claim about form the majority of "those people" you see helping people in floods, hurricanes, fires, illness, etc. The people you are describing may go to Christian churches, but they do not seem to be exhibiting Christian principles. "THOSE kind of people" you are describing are found in all walks of life and are called "back-stabbers," not Christians. In any case, what you are claiming about how you make your business decisions ("Christian?" litmus test) must severely limit where you can do business, and presumably you have never been treated poorly by an atheist or a member of any other faith or non-faith - and that is highly unlikely. You are admitting to bigotry and hatred, nothing more.

Arthur Andersen wrote on September 08, 2016 at 9:09 pm
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The guy should have simply brought up the video on his computer, started it, muted it, and read the Bible for 20 minutes. 

wykhb wrote on September 08, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Why don't you google it, you will find the same thing everyone else has:  She never completed her MANDATORY FEDERAL TRAINING.    Yes, this is exactly the same scenario.    If you won't hold leaders accountable, and if it's okay for pretty much anyone to sue the Government over their offended sensibilities, then why are you attacking this Man for his religious convictions?   When did that become okay in America?     Play stupid if you like, but don't be surprised when it becomes a permanent condition. 

Phil S wrote on September 09, 2016 at 10:09 am

No one is attacking the man for his "religious convictions."  He is being criticized because he has made it abundantly clear that he is unwilling to do his job.  Most employers would have fired him long ago.

cantankerousbastard wrote on September 09, 2016 at 6:09 am

I dont believe that he has the right to not watch the required video but he has the right not to believe what he watches. Maybe he's afraid it might change his way of thinking. As far as religion and homosexuality goes , I think if god really hated homosexuals we probably would have 11 commandments instead of 10 and/or a " If thy are queer, I shall smite you heavily, and barr you from paradise" quote from God. Everything I have ever read in the bible about homosexuality has men putting words in Gods mouth.  I wonder why the government thinks a video is needed.  If everyone is to be treated honest and fair why is a video needed unless the government wants some people treated differently ( better, worse?) than others. I can understand a training video about people with severe emotional problems or low intellect but why a training video for people based on their sexuality?  If people are emotionally and intellectually normal why should they be treated differently than other people?

Phil S wrote on September 09, 2016 at 10:09 am

I generally agree with your comments, but the video is needed because of past history of discrimination against LGBT people.  The death penality was still on the books during my early lifetime, and criminalization of private consensual sex acts was only overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003.  And people STILL go out of their way to harass others.  They SHOULDN'T be treated differently from other people, but the reality is different.

bones1 wrote on September 09, 2016 at 9:09 am

The reason to have employees watch training videos like the one being discussed in this article is because LGBT people are not always treated the way others are treated.  It might be hard to believe if you aren't gay, black, asian, disabled, obese, muslim, and/or any type of human other than a straight white person, but there is still a lot of hating, mocking, poor treatment of customers in many venues.  I applaud the fact that employers in goverment workplaces think it is important enough (no matter their motivation) to provide basic training on how to engage with those that are different.  It doesn't hurt anyone/at all and it might just make the employee a better person.  The guy in this article clearly doesn't want to be a better person, it appears he wants to be an unemployed person.  I think someone from that law firm probably went fishing for a new case and easily hooked a small fish. I also wonder how it ended up in the news. Probably a sensational press release with a lot of exclamation points!!!

Thewatcher wrote on September 09, 2016 at 9:09 am

Can't he be like most people and just have the video playing while messing around with his phone and not really paying attention?

cwdog57 wrote on September 09, 2016 at 11:09 am

it's quite simply. judge yea not that thou shall be judged. it's not our job to judge.....period.

He's a nut.

 

lionelmandrake wrote on September 09, 2016 at 11:09 am

My religion requires that be rude and awful to everyone, all the time, and I am very devoted to my faith.  As such, I must request a religious exemption from being subjected to any disciplinary action that will result from the inevitable deluge of complaints customers will make about me.

BruckJr wrote on September 09, 2016 at 4:09 pm

This guy is much like that kid that plays football for San Francisco --- just looking for attention.  Move on.

CallSaul wrote on September 09, 2016 at 5:09 pm

About halfway through my daily 9 hour super deep and intensely close personal chitchat with Jesus today, in which we often discuss what other people are doing with their naughty bits in great and explicit detail while not fearing to dwell for hours and hours on the exact mechanics of just what exactly they get up to with each other's naughty bits, I learned that I am now commanded by my version of Christianity to super glue clown noses on the faces of bigots as an outward sign of my deeply held personal religious convictions.  You can't charge me with assault for doing so because that would violate my religious freedoms. It would be persecution to prohibit me from forcibly attaching round red rubber balls to the tips of these clowns' noses. "And lo, it was said unto the believers, attach ye clown noses upon the nasal regions of those who are bigots in the land."  I think I'll set up my crowdsourcing sites to start raking in the cash…I mean to protect my religious freedom from the godless persecution of the unbelievers that is sure to come my way.

smcg wrote on September 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

I guess his "deeply held religious belief" doesn't include that his "god" says as a fat person he should cut his own throat for being a glutton, Proverbs 23:2 but then buffet christians only pick and choose what they want to adhere to when it comes to the bible and that they can justify treating others who don't believe as they do with all the hate their "god" can muster. 2nd chronicles 15 13 No different than ISIS. 

Urbana71 wrote on September 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Progressive are all about tolerance until they encounter someone that thinks differently than they do - then they are willing to use force, like taking a person's job.  This man didn't do anything to anyone - leave him alone.  If he was a minority, I'd bet you lunch that this wouldn't even be an issue.  Funny how that works.

CallSaul wrote on September 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm

In other words:

You're nothing but a hypocrite because you refuse to tolerate my intolerance!!11!

It's amazing that in 2016 there are still adults who believe this is an effective rhetorical approach. Of course, they don't actually care about persuasion at all. This and other similar slogans are meant only as cathartic releases of rage brought on by the fact that they are no longer accorded the same level of unearned privilege their race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc once gave them.

It's an emotional state that certainly well describes well over half of Trump's rally goers. It also describes a large percentage of citizens who will actually decide to mark a ballot for the ethnonationalist later this fall. The sentiment is not new and predates the nation's founding. But it is surprising that in 2016 such a deplorable worldview is being espoused by the nominee of what could once be called the Party of Lincoln.

wykhb wrote on September 10, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Yeah Yeah, anyone who doesn't think like you, look like you, or support your candidate is a bigot and racist and misognyist and homophobe, and any other disparaging label you can conjure.     Think about that deeply for a minute and see if a twinge of irony doesn't appear.    

CallSaul wrote on September 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

Another example of this mindset in action. The claim is that anyone who objects to bigotry is bigoted against bigots – and how is that even fair? Another familiar variant is that those who object to racism are the "real racists." It's a slightly evolved version of "I know you are but what am I?" and it's real intent is to shut down any and all acknowledgment that bigotry even truly exists.

Also note the implication that the only reason to point out bigotry, racism, misogyny, homophobia etc is to score political points, not because these behaviors actually exist in the real world. We might soon expect to hear that the only real bigotry in America today is bigotry against white male conservative Christians, the most persecuted group in all of history.



BruckJr wrote on September 11, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Or to quote Hillary half the folks who supports her opponent are "sexist, racist, homophobic bigots."

Louis Wu wrote on September 10, 2016 at 9:09 pm

You'd think they were asking him to turn gay, not view a training video. If Jesus existed and were here today, how would he treat LGBT people? Probably exactly how he treated thieves and prostitutes in his time.
These holier-than-thou protesters are nothing but attention seekers. STFU and watch the training video.

 

wykhb wrote on September 10, 2016 at 11:09 pm

I can't see where he was hired to complete LGBT training.     Got a link to that?       Again, when the people making the rules don't follow them, who exactly is prosecuting him?   Recommend study up on Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules with regard to Religious Discrimination in the workplace.      I mean, they wrote the rules that should be protecting him.   I hope he takes it to the Supreme Court, he should win easily.       

someguy19000 wrote on September 11, 2016 at 8:09 pm

He is required to complete training to perform his job in service to the public, that includes all the public, including African-Amercians, Asians, Elderly, Women and yes, LGBT, along with every other taxpaying citizen. If he doesn't like it, then he shouldn't be in public service job for the government. He's not being "persecuted" because of his religion, but failing to perform duties required of his job. Try standing up to your boss and telling him you don't feel like doing required functions of your job, see how long that lasts.

someguy19000 wrote on September 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

I have to but wonder, does he not watch TV shows or movies with adultery, murder, violence, anything supernatural, the news, etc.? After all, those are mentioned in the bible as being bad, sins, etc. I'm guessing he's a big old hypocrite.

Neologist wrote on September 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

Sounds like he'd get along great with this guy who just got arrested in New Mexico: "A suspected rapist told Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputies that the Bible gave him permission to have sex with any woman he wanted, whenever he wanted."

MeToo wrote on September 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

Each and EVERY AMERICAN needs to remember WHY this country was founded...Religious FREEDOM!! The Puritans didn't come here for any other reason but to be free to pursue a better life and escape oppression from tyranny! So many "Americans" seem to conveniently forget this FACT! The thought of forcing this man to go against what he is and believes in would be a hate crime in my opinion. Is this supervisor is the biased one? LBTG people fight for what they believe in correct? How is this man's beliefs any different? Isn't he entitled to stand up for his beliefs? If you read the same article I did you read how there were NOT any other training videos on how to treat Blacks, Elderly, Hispanics, Overweight people,VETERANS and Women made or even mandated for that matter. I believe that EVERYONE MATTERS!! The sooner people wake up and acknowledge this simple fact the happier all of us will be! All of this fighting is only weakening this country's strength to overcome!

CallSaul wrote on September 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm

What you need to remember is that the puritans came here to establish a theocracy and they did so very enthusiastically. They also murdered anyone who didn't conform to their extremist version of christianity, leaving aside that they also slaughtered the people who were already here before they came. They instituted their own religious tyranny that was no better than what the taliban or ISIS impose on those unfortunate enough to be subject to their rule.

Fortunately, we as a nation rejected and still reject theocracy. No one's religious views trump secular law. Hall claims that merely watching a 17 minute video about not discriminating against a group of people is an unacceptable violation of his religious beliefs. If that's the case, it then seems clear that actually respecting their rights would be an even more severe violation of his precious religious freedom to hate other people in the name of his god.

He has no right to employment by the federal government. He has the right to refuse to watch the video but then he must accept the consequence of rightly losing his job as a result of his refusal to perform his mandated duties.

kkgator wrote on September 14, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

This person fails to realize that his religious beliefs ONLY apply to him, and him alone.

No one is required to believe in his god, or follow his religion.

We have a secular form of government and religion cannot interfere with people's Constitutional rights.  He gets to practice whatever religion he wants, he doesn't get to inflict his beliefs on anyone else.  Especially if he's working in a government job.

When will these ridiculous religutards learn they can't force their beliefs on anyone else?

John Joseph wrote on September 15, 2016 at 5:09 am

Kudos to the man for standing firm on that which he is convicted to.  Unfortunately he will be fired for doing so.  But courage is the word of the day, and not many have it.  This man does.  Why does the lgbt community cram their agenda down everyones throats?  I don't care if they prefer those of the same sex over the natural order, but keep it where it belongs.  My niece inadvertantly walked into a gay pride parade in chicago and saw a bunch of naked guys riding bicycles down the street.  Really?  C'mon man, we don't care if you're gay but why the display?  The lgbt community brings on their own problems.  Now the government is on board with them.  The rest of us don't have to be but consequences will be suffered.  I never thought I'd see the day when one would be confused over which bathroom to use.  Something is amiss.  Let's get back to reason and common sense folks. 

andy2002 wrote on September 15, 2016 at 7:09 am

Ok, here's the thing. A company has the right to establish their rules for employment. And if they say you need to watch a video, you need to watch a video. An employee has the right to choose to either abide by the established rules for employment or find another place to work that is more compatible with his "beliefs". These are the same "christians" who howl because they feel a bakery should be able to decide if they want to make a cake for a gay wedding. So let's be rationally consistent.

But while we are on the subject of being rationally consistent, I wonder how "society" would react if the company required its employees to watch a 17-minute "diversity" video about mainline christianity?

I know exactly how they would react. Everyone would be howling about "separation of church and state", and the intolerance of christianity, and how dare a company enforce their beliefs on others. Well, when it comes right down to it, isn't this really the same situation? Aren't we being intellectually dishonest about this whole thing?

 

Nice Davis wrote on September 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

Make sure not to bring any open flames near that strawman of yours

CommonSenseless wrote on September 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

Why do we need special videos that instruct how to interact with the LGBT community?  Are they that different from the rest of humanity?  Better question, is the federal government the new expert on interpersonal communications with people from diifering lifestyles?  Where is the video that explains how teenagers interact with adults, the educated with dullards, men with women, Southerners and Northerners, anyone with Californians?

Nice Davis wrote on September 16, 2016 at 7:09 am

"Why do we need special videos that instruct how to interact with the LGBT community?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Davis_(county_clerk)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Moore

CommonSenseless wrote on September 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

So based on your response, everytime some individual or a narrow subset of society exhibits ignorance, federal employees need to be educated through a video? What time would they have to complete their actual job? 

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