US: Child caregiver fired over “lifestyle choices”

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A gay child caregiver has been fired from his position at a Christian charity in Texas.

Casey Stegall was fired from his position at The Children’s Home of Lubbock after his fiancé accompanied him on a field trip to lend an extra set of eyes and help out the other staff.

Later that week, Stegall was fired for what Lynn Harms, the president of the organization, referred to as “lifestyle choices”.

Harms told the Avalanche-Journal that: “As a faith-based, church-related outreach providing welfare services, if you will, to children and families, there is a set of biblical values that we adhere to and live by.

“If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well.”

Stegall was accused of inappropriate touching and behaviour with his fiancé. But instead of being put on paid leave while a formal investigation was conducted, as is usually the protocol said Stegall, he was simply let go.

Stegall said that his boss told him that because of his lifestyle choices, he didn’t feel comfortable with him being on his team anymore.

Stegall said: “Sitting there in his office and hearing those words come out of his mouth it just really hurt me. I cared very deeply about my job. I loved every kid that I came in contact with.”

Stegall is currently searching for a lawyer to take his case in a lawsuit against the Christian charity. His former place of work however is funded by the state and Texas has no form of protection for LGBT employees.

Houston, the largest city in Texas, passed a non-discrimination ordinance this past May. While similar legislation was passed in San Antonio in 2013 that provides nondiscrimination protections against gay and transgender residents.

Currently there is no national legislation outlawing employment discrimination against LGBT individuals.

Barack Obama signed an Executive Order early this month banning discrimination against LGBT people by employers. The new order, however only applies to federal contractors, unlike the broader Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which remains stalled in the House of Representatives.