A former Library of Congress staff member has filed a discrimination complaint after he was allegedly harassed and humiliated by a supervisor before ultimately being fired after he came out as gay.
The Washington Blade reports that Peter TerVeer, who worked as a management analyst at the Library of Congress’s Office of the Inspector General from 2008 until last week, claims he was forced to take disability leave last fall and earlier this year after supervisor John R. Mech created a hostile work environment, even citing biblical passages condemning homosexuality.
"I contend that I have been subjected to a hostile work environment by Mr. Mech since August 2009 on the basis of my sex (male), sexual orientation (homosexual), and religion (non-denominational Christian/Agnostic),” TerVeer, 30, is quoted by the Blade as saying in an affidavit to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "I maintain that Mr. Mech has acted to impose his religious beliefs on me."
In addition, FOX News 5 cites a series of emails allegedly sent by Mech, in which the supervisor writes: "Peter, putting you and [another Library of Congress employee] closer to God is my effort to encourage you to save your worldly behinds!!!!!!!" And in another: "[Jesus] prohibited sexual immorality including homosexuality...."
"My personal perspective as to having my religious beliefs is that homosexuality is not a sin," TerVeer told the station. "And that was not the case up there."
Unfortunately, as Queerty points out, it's unclear whether TerVeer's rights are protected: The Library of Congress adopted a policy banning discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation in the 1990s, but a spokesperson for the institution wouldn’t confirm that the measure is still in effect.
Take a look at other employees who were dismissed for being LGBT below:
A Missouri-based gay music teacher at an area Catholic school was recently dismissed from his job after authorities learned of his plans to wed his male partner of 20 years in New York. Al Fischer was reportedly fired Feb. 17, 2012 from St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County, where he'd worked for four years. Fischer did not comment directly about his dismissal, but instead referred to an email sent to his students' parents after he was terminated. "A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing," he wrote. "I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, 'Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'" Fischer's partner, Charlie Robin, told the paper that the couple's relationship was not a secret at the school, and that Fischer was only fired after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/al-fischer-gay-music-teacher-fired_n_1311324.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.