Please also see the follow-up to this post.
I was watching the evening news tonight, something I do rarely, when my attention was caught by a local item about a man named Peter Vadala being fired from his job because he “expressed his opinions” about gay marriage.
The story went on to clarify: a coworker mentioned that she was getting married to another woman, he apparently told her at length how wrong he thought gay marriage was. She complained to HR and he got the sack. The termination letter was then described, in which the company essentially said, you’re welcome to your beliefs but don’t use them to make other people uncomfortable in the workplace. Now he’s on MassResistance.org telling people in other states that if their state legalizes gay marriage, they too could be fired.
The real lesson of Peter Vadala, though, is that if you can’t keep from using your beliefs as a bludgeon, you can be fired. And rightfully so.
Here’s the letter I wrote to him through MassResistance:
I’m sorry for Peter Vedala that he hasn’t learned an important professional lesson: don’t impose your beliefs on others.
I’m also sorry that he hasn’t learned about Christian charity.
I was further sorry to see him digging himself in further in continuing to claim that he is being persecuted for his faith. If I were his manager, I would have terminated him in a heartbeat for creating a hostile work environment, and I would have had cause.