Scroll To Top
World

Minister claims
he was fired for defending same-sex marriage

Minister claims
he was fired for defending same-sex marriage

A Unitarian minister in Louisville, Ky., filed suit Friday against the Kentucky Farm Bureau, claiming the agency fired him for speaking publicly against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Reverend Todd Eklof, a minister at Clifton Unitarian Church in Louisville, said the lawsuit is about more than getting back his job as a corporate video producer. It's a way to keep the same-sex marriage issue in the public eye, he said. "This lawsuit is about justice for all," he said at a press conference held to announce the suit, which was filed in Jefferson County circuit court. Eklof claimed in the suit that the Kentucky Farm Bureau dismissed him from his job in January, two months after he stood before his congregation and announced he would perform no marriages of any kind until same-sex marriage is legalized. Representatives of the Kentucky Farm Bureau did not immediately return messages Friday afternoon. In a letter dated January 18, the Farm Bureau gave several reasons for terminating Eklof. Executive vice president David Beck said it is against Farm Bureau policy for employees to take "high-profile positions on public issues" and that Eklof had missed several days of work and failed to complete work assignments on time. Eklof called the reasons for the firing "trumped up." Kentucky was one of 11 states that amended their constitutions last fall to outlaw same-sex marriage. The amendment defined marriage in Kentucky as being limited to one man and one woman. It also prohibited unmarried people from ever obtaining "legal status identical to or similar to marriage." Same-sex marriages were already prohibited under state law, but amendment advocates claimed the measure was needed to prevent such marriages from eventually being legalized. Beth Wilson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said Eklof paid the price for standing up against a vocal group pushing a discriminatory measure. "He was willing to stand up for justice even when it would have been much easier to go on about his life," Wilson told a crowd of about 50 in a downtown Louisville park. Eklof said his announcement about marriages drew some media attention. After it was publicized, Eklof claims, his supervisors took several steps to force him out of the job. "I will continue to be public, not political," Eklof said. (AP)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories