| Washington Post |
A short video about lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual diversity may bring an abrupt end to a federal employee’s 14-year career with the Social Security Administration. David Hall, who works in information technology at the agency’s office in Champaign, Ill., refused to watch the 17-minute video on several occasions.
Hall told the News-Gazette that the mandate to watch the video first came in April, when the national office sent out an email memo regarding LGBT diversity and inclusivity training. (The Washington Post contacted the Social Security Administration to confirm this initiative early Wednesday, but the agency was unable to immediately respond.) The Chicago-area Social Security office issued a statement to Illinois’ WCIA to explain the training without commenting on the specifics of this case.
“In support of an inclusive work environment, as well as exemplary customer service, the Social Security Administration recently announced a diversity and inclusion training on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community to our employees,” the statement read. “The training includes a brief session on tips for increasing cultural awareness in a diverse and inclusive environment.”
For Hall, that premise was too sinful. The 42-year-old, who identifies as Christian, said he does not believe God would have wanted him to watch the video. Signing a statement he had watched such a video, moreover, was equal to endorsing “an abomination,” he told WCIA. “I’m not going to certify sin.”