An employee at Rocketown in Nashville, TN was fired today, MLK day, for wearing a band t-shirt by Hostage Calm saying "I support same-sex marriage."
You may remember that Nashville has same-sex protections briefly. They were stripped by the state congress in 2011 because, you know, freedomz.
Wes Breedwell, an employee of 7 years, worked for Rocketown, a Christian-owned non-profit community center and venue. The are a coffeebar/skatepark/concert venue. Their statement of purpose is well-meaning:
Rocketown programming allows teens to explore, refine and deepen their passions within film, dance, skating boarding, music, religion and the arts.but that didn't keep them from firing an employee from wearing a band shirt with a message they disagreed with.
The band whose shirt he wore, Hostage Calm, released a statment blasting the center.
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a longtime supporter of Hostage Calm and marriage equality was fired from his job at the Nashville music venue, Rocketown, for wearing his “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” shirt to work.The band whose shirt he wore goes on to talk about ongoing lack of advancement for the employee because of his non-Christian beliefs, then comes up with this beautiful summary:
So how could a youth center not support such a vital, foundational understanding of human freedom and equality as part of their social mission? Hostage Calm has played Rocketown multiple times. In my prior visits, I was under the impression that Rocketown was a positive force in this Nashville community: they had a music venue, skatepark, and other outlets for Nashville youth. But a youth center and music venue cannot be a positive force in the community if it degrades and belittles the value of some of our people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. That is the force that tears communities apart, not that enriches them.Did I mention they are a free counceling center? I shudder to think of the type of counceling they give troubled youth confronting LGBT issues in what is a very conservative state.
It's sad that today of all days -- Martin Luther King Day, a day when Stonewall is mentioned in the same breath as Selma and Seneca Falls -- such determined bigotry exists.