Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Monday, January 21, 2013

TEP statement on Rocketown termination of Wes Breedwell for support of marriage equality

Earlier today (January 21), the Tennessee Equality Project released the following statement on the termination of Wes Breedwell, who was employed at music venue Rocketown in Nashville, for his support of marriage equality, as expressed in a shirt by the band Hostage Calm:

"TEP condemns this termination and stands in solidarity with the man who was fired for showing his support for our community. It reminds us that allies are in the front lines of the fight for equality."

The band released its own statement earlier this evening and you can find it here.

Whether Wes was fired for wearing the shirt to work (the shirt of a band that had played at Rocketown, by the way) or for liking a photo of the shirt as The Tennessean explores, he was terminated for being a straight ally for marriage equality.  

Rocketown probably has the legal right to terminate him, but that doesn't make it right or prudent.  In any diverse workplace, we will always encounter people with religious and political views that differ from our own.  Shouldn't the focus be on who can do the job?

Rocketown chose to act and they are now publicly branded as opposed to the aspirations for equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.  They chose to enter the fray and enter it on a day when President Barack Obama embraced those aspirations.  So while they have the legal right to their actions, the public will now exercise its rights to form judgments about the organization.  

*It is reasonable to ask whether Rocketown is a safe place for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth who desperately need safe spaces in Tennessee.  

*And it is reasonable to ask whether Rocketown is in step with a city that has made great strides in embracing diversity and creativity, factors vital to Nashville's brand as "Music City."   

We call on Rocketown to reverse its actions and make it clear that all are welcome at their music venue regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

1 comment:

Wesley Summers said...

I think it would be awesome if we could pressure them into not only rehiring him, but into signing the human rights statement!