Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fired for Being Gay

This is from the Human Rights Campaign:

Over the past few weeks, managers fired two openly gay employees of the Arte' Hotel in Brentwood (formerly a Holiday Inn). David Hill told WSMV news, "They literally said to me because of my orientation and my alternative lifestyle, that I was not a fit for the hotel."

Asked if David had been fired strictly because of his sexual orientation, the hotel’s assistant general manager Leonard Stoddard replied, "I do believe that's a very fair assumption." Click here to watch news story. Leonard was subsequently fired as well.

This case is shocking, but the story from the Arte' Hotel really should come as no surprise. Thirty states, including Tennessee, do not have laws banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And there are no laws against discrimination on the basis of gender identity in 38 states. At the Human Rights Campaign, we hear stories from around the country that demonstrate the need for a federal ban on employment discrimination to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

Yet even as we push for federal workplace protections, we must also work to educate local officials about the lives of LGBT Tennesseans and the issues important to them. This year, we must do everything possible to defeat any bill that would deprive children of stable, loving homes.

Last year, fair-minded legislators helped scuttle a bill that would have prevented unmarried individuals "cohabitating in a sexual relationship" from adopting. Unfortunately, this year a similar bill could find more support with a more conservative legislature. For more on last year’s bill, click here.

We need your help to help pass federal workplace protections so that we can put an end to stories like the Arte' Hotel. And we need your help to ensure that children up for adoption in Tennessee have the best chance of finding a loving, permanent home.

Join us at the Brentwood rally this Saturday. Plan to be in Nashville for Tennessee Equality Project’s lobby day. And if you think you’re not political or that you wouldn’t know what to say to elected officials, join TEP at a Lobbying 101 training near you!

Stay tuned to for updated information.


  1. Talk about naive! It never occurred to me that there would be no employment protections for GLBT in the state of Tennessee.

    I guess I'm new around here.

  2. They call it the "Arte' Hotel" and then fire one of their employees for being gay?!?!?!?

    Oh, the irony... ;-)

    Now, more than ever, I am glad that I no longer live in Tennessee.


  3. Yeah, that struck me as pretty funny, too. Perhaps we start a boycott of the hotel because they don't have ENOUGH gay employees to be called "Arte'"