Texas, October 2011
Nikki Williams, a young history teacher and basketball coach, was fired from the Life School in Waxahachie, Tex. because she's gay, according to some parents. A petition was circulated to get Williams's job back, but school officials dug in, even refusing to expunge the firing from her records. "I think that her being gay has nothing to do with her coaching skills," parent Tiniqua Smith told local media. "She has not tried to push this off on the kids, and I don't feel like that should be a problem."
Pennsylvania, February 2011
Reverand James St. George, an adjunct professor of world religion at Philadephia's Catholic Chestnut Hill College, was fired after he made statements about gays that apparently went against Vatican teachings. St. George says he was let go simply out of antigay animus. School officials say the story was sensationalized, while the college's president tried to voice concern for gay students and staff of the school: "We ache for the negative impact this story is having on them."
Tennessee, December 2010
Lisa Howe's story resonated much wider than the halls of Nashville's Belmont University. The women's soccer coach was allegedly fired from the Christian university after she announced her partner was pregnant. Her dismissal led to protests, new protections for gay employees and students at Belmont, a campus LGBT group recognized by the university, and a citywide ordinance requiring companies contracted by the city protect their gay employees from workplace discrimination (the latter was later overturned by state legislators).
Oregon, October 2010
Seth Stambaugh (right), a young teacher in Oregon, was fired when his fourth-grade student asked him why he wasn't married and he responded that he was gay. He was later reinstated at Sexton Mountain Elementary School and awarded $75,000 for his troubles; he donated some of the money to a charity to youth-oriented nonprofits.