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Because She Needed It

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2009

When Peter Vidala told a co-worker that “her lifestyle is deviant”, it was because she needed to be told. She needed to hear that Vidala was intolerant of her.

“I see, like all real Christians, homosexuals as people who, like me, are sinners and need to be told the truth in a loving way,” he said. “In this situation, I took issue with the behavior. I think it’s lunacy to call that type of behavior marriage in any kind of form. I had to express that I’m intolerant of that behavior. It’s a love-the-sinner, hate-the-sin kind of deal.”

Just like the wife who argues back and need a good punch in the face, or the infant who won’t stop crying and needs to be shaken, this lesbian needed to know that he hated her sin.

Brookstone, the employer, decided that Vidala’s weeks-old employment needed to come to an end. And, naturally, Fox News and other conservative voices are shocked! that he was “unjustly fired”.

Naturally,Vidala trotted on over to the lovely folks at MASSresistence, the same folks who brought us the distortions about the Wirthlins and Parkers, to make a video. So we can expect to see this story (or some unrecognizable version of it) to start popping up in anti-gay advertising around the country. Here’s Peter’s tale:

YouTube Preview Image

He sees “that type of behavior” (her engagement) as immoral. He believes that controversial issues (her engagement) have no place in the workplace, particularly in Boston. And he is entitled to never have to be exposed in the workplace to ideas that contadict his opinions. To exist as a lesbian – and not keep it a secret – is to harass Vidala. And he was only expressing his offense when they retaliated against him. Unfairly.

In other words, his opinions should override your life. He is not only authorized but obligated to condemn your “behavior” while you should be disallowed from sharing your life on the same terms as your heterosexual coworkers within his hearing. And your mere statement of a fact, your engagement, is nothing but an “opinion” to which he should be allowed to counter.

Vidala clearly feels entitled. He clearly believes that his Christianity (to which he constantly refers) gives him rights and priveleges that should be denied to you. And his “Christian beliefs” outweigh anyone else’s beliefs, rights, or space. But, remember, it’s for your own good. You need to be told.

The anti-gay activist will champion Vidala, just as they do anyone who is “martyred to the homosexual agenda.” He will be Example A of what will happen if your state allows gay citizens to have the same rights as heterosexual citizens: religious freedom will suffer!!

But they will not be telling the truth; Vidala did not suffer for his beliefs.

Peter Vidala was not fired because he disapproved of homosexuality; rather, he was fired because couldn’t care less about the best interests of his employer. He selfishly decided that he didn’t have to be civil at work, he simply had to tell his superior that her life was deviant and immoral. It’s his Christian duty.

And, besides, why should he be punished? She needed it, you know.

Comments

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Burr
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Give me a break. She would have gotten fired for making a similarly offensive remark about his religion.

Heaven forbid a corporation uphold civility over poo flinging monkey behavior.

Lindoro Almaviva
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Well, now that Karrie Prejean has proved to be a slut beyond a reasonable doubt, NOM will need a pretty face to continue the fight.

Maybe, after Scary Karrie come out of the dessert and repents, they can get those 2 married and tout them as the new opposite marriage couple who met in the midst of suffering for their believes and fell in love.

Lindoro Almaviva
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Every time i see people behaving like this, I keep thinking about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector and keep realizing how blind these Christians are.

When are we going to have the pleasure of these people being told once and for all that we have the right to be free from their spewing poison?

Jessica
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Burr – Are you kidding me? No one gets fired over bashing Christianity.

Islam? Homosexuality? Latinos? Blacks? Women?

You will be fired. The only person that can be bashed over and over because no one cares anymore (because it’s not “politically incorrect” to do so) is a Christian person, and particularly, White Males.

Did you not read that this homosexual woman kept talking over and over and over about her “marriage” to her partner? Hell, I wouldn’t want to listen to that crap, and I shouldn’t have to. If she didn’t want to know his opinion, she shouldn’t have FORCED such a controversial topic into the conversation.

Stop trying to ruin everyone else’s lives when you get your damn feelings hurt! You’re like whiny unreasonable children. Get over yourselves! You’re so driven by emotion you can’t see straight. It’s pathetic.

And Lindoro – who is the one spewing poison? Are you serious? So a man is no longer allowed to express his opinion in America… how is that freedom for him? He didn’t say anything until AFTER the FOURTH time she mentioned her “marriage” to another woman. Why isn’t he free from her “spewing” crap about her personal life?

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Jessica,

Thank you for providing a very clear example of the attitudes which we defenders of freedom and equality are facing. Occasionally we need a reminder of just how self-righteous, arrogant, entitlement driven, and full of bias, animus, and bile that many of our opponents really are.

Alex
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

“Peter Vidala was not fired because he disapproved of homosexuality; rather, he was fired because couldn’t care less about the best interests of his employer.”

It’s not even as complicated as that. Vidala was fired because he violated Brookstone’s non-discrimination policy, plain and simple. The same thing would have happened if he’d pulled a Muslim coworker aside and said that worshipping a deity other than Christ was “bad stuff” and that it offended him as a Christian.

How easily these people forget that you give up certain rights when you go to work. You can’t just say anything you want in the workplace and then act surprised when there are consequences.

Burr
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Baloney. You know how many states I can be fired simply for being gay let alone giving my opinion about it? And there’s a lot of examples of places run by bosses who force prayer groups on everyone and hold back or fire anyone who doesn’t play along with their evangelism.

Sorry but I’m not gonna shed any tears for this guy even if it was unfair, because frankly it’s about time some of these snobs feel what we feel.

wackadoodle
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

And Lindoro – who is the one spewing poison? Are you serious? So a man is no longer allowed to express his opinion in America… how is that freedom for him? He didn’t say anything until AFTER the FOURTH time she mentioned her “marriage” to another woman. Why isn’t he free from her “spewing” crap about her personal life?

Yeah, how dare they fire someone for expressing their opinion! Especially when he waited until the fourth time they dared to mention their ‘marriage’ to another race, he just had to step in and tell them how sinful and wrong their racemixing was!

You can now start your pathetic attempts to dance around the fact that you would NOT be defending this guy if he had done the exact same thing to someone mentioning their interracial marriage.

Burr
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Also this whole “she was being annoying and pushing it on everyone angle” just reeks the typical double standard and exaggeration of anyone daring to be out of the closet.

A straight co-worker could hand out wedding invitations to everyone and talk about it all day, no big deal. They can even bring their baby into work and bask in the attention.

A gay person merely mentions it in earshot of someone else while carefully only telling it to the people they know would care about it and all of a sudden they’re flaunting and shoving it down everyone’s throats.

Leonard Drake
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

In re: Jessica:

You would be surprised how many times heterosexuals “ke[ep] talking over and over and over about her “marriage” to [their] partner[s]” in the offices, or talking about “oh, my husband and I did this, or my wife and I are going to go visit my parents over the weekend” ad nauseaum. When you hear those conversations, Jessica, do you ask yourself, “I wouldn’t want to listen to that crap, and I shouldn’t have to?” Probably not, and I can guarantee you, such conversations are not controversal that are not being FORCED down your throat.

So, ask yourself, Jessica, where is the controversy? Where in does the animus arise? What is the difference? WHY should it be any different?

Did you not read that this homosexual woman kept talking over and over and over about her “marriage” to her partner? Hell, I wouldn’t want to listen to that crap, and I shouldn’t have to. If she didn’t want to know his opinion, she shouldn’t have FORCED such a controversial topic into the conversation.

And reading from your opinion, Jessica, it seems as if your feelings are the ones hurt — at least affected. You are the person who whined you “wouldn’t want to listen to that crap, and I should have to,” and yet you pass the blame onto those who wish to engage in the same time honored tradition of office space conversation — by labelling them as “whiny unreasonable children”! Jessica, please take a page from your own book: As you “are so driven by emotion you can’t see [forward],” YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO what you don’t feel you have to listen to — WALK AWAY, DON’T ENGAGE, and leave people to their peace.

Richard W. Fitch
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

This kid has a lot to learn about “witnessing” in the workplace. I find it hard to believe that a manager would be at another store without some company assigned task. She may have mentioned her coming marriage [ YES, MARRIAGE and not “marriage” ] to various people she knew. Was this young, male ‘victim’ of harassment hanging on to her every word the whole day just to see how often she would shove her immoral lifestyle down other people’s throats???

Bearchewtoy75
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Jessica,

Like many women who are about to get married, that IS ALL THEY TALK ABOUT. In Mass., same sex marriage has been legal for 5 years now, it’s not like she was discussing the issue as a political topic. She was merely excited about her marriage.

Religion and politics are two subjects that should not be discussed in the workplace, and most companies would frown on such discussions.

Plus, the guy worked there for a week, and most companies (perhaps not Brookstone) have a probationary period where they can fire someone for pretty much anything.

Brookstone is 100% in the right.

Leonard Drake
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

After reading my partially cut-and-paste response to Jessica, I realised I forgot to put quote marks in the third paragraphs. It reads quite differently with the missing quote marks. I am *not* the asshole bigot that my response reads.

I wish there was a DELETE button for that one.

LJD

Emily K
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Since the (most likely 90-day) probationary period was not up yet, this guy has not a single leg to stand on.

Oh, and how *DARE* the woman get excited about her marriage. People who are excited about their wedding talk about it ALL. THE. TIME. It’s their freakin’ wedding. Maybe Jessica is jealous that “even” a “deviant” and “reject of nature” can find a lifelong partner in love, while the “normal” human beings are having trouble finding even a single date.

Regan DuCasse
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

Ah…so, this guy goes to
massresistance and not the EEOC for support?
How come he DIDN’T find an advocate with a group such as the EEOC?

The Alliance Defense Fund, does so exclusively for Christians who ta da! Only get in trouble when they exclusively attack gay people!

Indeed, why are gay people their ONLY targets?
Does this guy go to savings and loans and point a finger at the CEO about usury?
Can’t he find any OTHER sins to complain about?

You all know why he didn’t go to the EEOC, right? It’s not like they wouldn’t review his case, I have a lot of experience with them…unfortunately.

Yeah…the reason why made me laugh too.

Vancity
November 7th, 2009 | LINK

“while the ‘normal’ human beings are having trouble finding even a single date.” – Emily K

How true….

Veracity
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Jessica, please, every office I’ve ever worked in over 30 years, when a woman’s getting married she gabs about it ad nauseum. I am straight and am single and child-free by choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tune out some blah blah blah about weddings and births and then I’m expected to contribute to gifts even though I could care less if someone is marrying or procreating. At least if a gay person is talking about getting married it might be more interestng because it’s a little different with the politics going on now.

a. mcewen
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

At my job, I know of young ladies who have children but are not married. And they bring their children to work sometimes, not to mention have pictures of these children in their work stations.

Now if I were to say something about those women not being married in accordance to my so-called Christian beliefs, I should expect some type of company retribution.

It’s the same as this case.

Ben in Oakland
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Jessica–quoting myself in another context:

For you and your kind– I just love the power and superiority I feel when I say that! Don’t you?– the desire of gay people to end this vile, vicious, and wasteful prejudice is an affront and a threat. Homophobic heterosexuals, homo-hating homos, wanna-be-straight-but-ain’t’s, conservatives, right-wing Christians, and village idiots don’t have to question any of their assumptions, whether religious, social, political, or sexual– especially sexual, because that scares the living bejeesus out of them–don’t have to actually solve problems of divorce, adultery, family breakdown, and child abuse, don’t have to care about the waste of time and energy and money, don’t have to look in the logs in their own eyes, can continue to use The Children (TM) as pawns in their fear-based culture war, because they are fightin’ (other people’s) sins and expressing the clear will of God. And what an added bonus if your goal is power and/or money and/or eternal glory while you’re washing, swimming or backstroking in the Blood of the Lamb! What better way to ingratiate yourself with your concept of The Almighty One than to hate exactly what you have convinced yourself that he hates? And you get even more points if you can convince yourself that you love those sinners as he would have loved them, except for the part about, you know, ACTUALLY loving them in a way that doesn’t feel like an assault to them.

You and your kind– God, I love saying that– now pursue and attack, slander and annoy gay people with exactly the same moral certainty that you are doing and expressing what god wants with which your spiritual ancestors justified the burning of witches. How many innocent women died long and horrible deaths for being what everyone but Pat Robertson and some sub-Saharan savages know do not actually exist?

you still do exactly as you have always done, for exactly the same reasons, and with exactly the same results. You have always needed an out group to attack so that you can go all Onward Christian Soldiers on theirr asses. We’re just your current victims. Only the truly iggerunt and fearful believe in witches any more, and they are usually over-weight and dress poorly, in addition to failing to understand that Halloween is just an excuse to sell more sugar. And Jew-hating is no longer fashionable, and certainly not acceptable if it’s out loud, even among Baptists. It’s impolite and bad for business. After all, it was more than 30 years ago that F. Bailey Smith proclaimed that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” You’ve tried attacking the Muslims, but they have all that oil and money and suicide bombers and atomic technology and everything. The Mormons used to be pretty good as victims, but they are white, they have pots of money and organization, and Elder Bob is just so cute in his white shirt and black badge bearing the inscription “Elder Bob.” on his muscular young chest. Who could resist that corn-fed smile?

How much pain, misery, and suffering do you endorse for others while you obsess over what makes MY dick hard?

Bearchewtoy75
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

And another thing, Jessica.

Christians will often complain about how they get berated for sharing their beliefs with the world and how persecuted they are.

I go to a large public university with clubs for just about every major religion. I have to walk by street preachers or reps. from their club screaming at students about how everyone is going to hell except them.

The point is that if anyone if shoving their views into people’s faces it ain’t us!

Bearchewtoy75
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Ben in Oakland,

“The Children (TM)” Good one!

Steve
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Vadala and MassResistance conveniently don’t publish his statement to the HR department in response to the harassment complaint against him.

The one document they do publish — the termination letter from the Employee Relations Manager — provides valuable details.

His position was that of a (low-level) manager, responsible for not just following, but ensuring that others were protected by, the anti-harassment policy. When he was challenged about his interactions with the other manager, he described his coworker’s “homosexual lifestyle” as “deviant” in his written statement. In the face-to-face conversation with the Employee Relations Manager, he again used “deviant.” And, in the video, he makes it clear that he was informed of the relevant company policies, chose not to ask for clarification, and knew that he faced sanctions when violated the policy in August.

WMDKitty
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

*facepaw*

Some people…

PW
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I would point out to Mr. Vidala that his actions would be considered inappropriate and possible grounds for termination in most companies in America regardless of location or the legal status of gay marriage. When he chose to work for that company, he not only agreed to abide by the written policies of the company but he also agreed to abide by the unwritten standards of civility and courtesy that are part of any workplace. His actions demonstrate he was unwilling to abide by either standard and his company was justified in terminating him.

I would point out to those who embrace and defend Mr. Vidala as ‘an example of proper Christian behavior’ that they are promoting the image that Christians are passive-aggressive busybodies who when they get called on their uncivilized behavior are not only unwillingly to accept the consequences but oblivious to why their behavior was inappropriate in the first place.

Leonard Drake
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

***
PW writes: “I would point out to those who embrace and defend Mr. Vidala as ‘an example of proper Christian behavior’ that they are promoting the image that Christians are passive-aggressive busybodies who when they get called on their uncivilized behavior are not only unwillingly to accept the consequences but oblivious to why their behavior was inappropriate in the first place.”
***

In regard to those Christians who claim to “act out of love,” know what is “right for us,” who are “acting with the heart of Jesus”, etc. etc. etc, while damning us to hell: PW provides an absolutely perfect description, if I do say so myself.

Anchorage Activist
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

PW – There should NEVER be any “unwritten” standards; expected standards of “civility and courtesy” should always be clearly spelled out to avoid misunderstanding. With the advent of forced multiculturalism in this country, there are no longer any common standards of civility and courtesy.

I would agree that since Vidala was in a management position, some disciplinary action would be warranted. But termination is extremely draconian and is akin to killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer. A brief unpaid suspension would have been more proportional to the actual severity of the infraction.

We must cure ourselves of our vindictiveness and mean-spiritedness as a people. Americans have never been a more vindictive people than we are now.

Bruce Garrett
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

But termination is extremely draconian and is akin to killing a mosquito with a sledgehammer…

As I read it, he was only a few weeks into his employment there. That’s usually a probationary period in most places, and during that time you can be let go with very little cause, other then in the opinion of management you’re just not working out. I suspect this is why he didn’t make this an EEOC case, but went straight to the hate mongers instead. Furthermore, one doesn’t just go to Mass Resistance for support. I suspect he, or someone in his family, or his church, already had a relationship with them before this.

They may be working themselves up to an Alliance Fund lawsuit over this. Be nice to have him on the witness stand and ask if he’d tell a Brookstone customer the same thing he told his co-worker. I’m pretty sure he’d proudly say that, yes, he would, because God would want him to. Let them win their lawsuit with that…

GreenEyedLilo
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

This sounds much too familiar. I am *really* familiar with the double standards as a bi woman–like Burr and Leonard Drake said, what constitues “normal conversation” when it’s about an opposite-sex partner becomes “flaunting” when it’s about a same-sex partner. I remember, too, being really excited about my wedding and subjecting a lot of people to wedding talk. Ideally, it’s something to be excited about!

I wonder how many other people “need” to have Vidala figuratively s*** in their figurative punchbowl when all they are doing is living their lives and being themselves. I would bet money that the woman was talking with her acquaintances there, answering questions, making casual statements like, “I need to go pick up our dresses this afternoon.” If it wasn’t a co-worker, odds are that Vidala would have offended a customer by telling them what they “needed” soon enough.

Some people have egos like balloons–inflated large, but hollow inside and easily destroyed at a light touch. Happy and secure people do not take the fact that someone lives in a way they wouldn’t as a personal insult. I am tired of balloon-ego people who think the entire world must be laid out according to their specs.

Emily K
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

I agree with GEL above; it’s reasonable for a company to assume that a client or customer could just as likely have been in place of the co-worker. And that is just bad for business, period. Right now the last thing businesses want are customers that take their money elsewhere. Termination would be a valid option, especially during the standard probationary period.

Jarred
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Only the truly iggerunt and fearful believe in witches any more,

Erm, not true, Ben. I assure you that I exist and that people believe in me.

Granted, I bear almost no resemblance to the any of the “witches” born of Christian-fed fear and hatred, but still….;)

joel
November 8th, 2009 | LINK

Does anyone still not believe that gay rights and christian ones are incompatible?

The most annoying things about christian rights is.. like what one can deduce from BenInOakland’s statement.”How much pain, misery, and suffering do you endorse for others while you obsess over what makes MY dick hard”. Is that it encompasses more than themselves. Christian rights extend into everyones rights… not just those that possess it. It is this very nature that makes it weaker than the rest.

christians have the divine command to stand for gods truths. This includes getting in yo face about things like what do you do with yout XXX… The bible is overflowing with sanctions of the intimate kind.

Yes, if your a christian, you will continue to be assaulted on your god given rights due to its far reaching nature. First it was slaves, then it was women… now its gays.

Christianity bestows christians with the right to do exactly what this person did. This is, to me, another case of gay rights trumping christian ones.

Gay rights dont care for what you do with your … It rather gives you the right to do with it as you please.
Christians rights run starkly in contrast. Even more than just caring about it they are ultimately called to get rid of the right to do with your dingy as you please as it runs counter to god’s laws.

Bruce Garrett
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Does anyone still not believe that gay rights and christian ones are incompatible?

It’s really hard to tell sometimes if someone is being sarcastic or not…but if someone can freely harass not only their co-workers over perceived ungodliness, but also their company’s customers too, then isn’t it the case that Christian rights not only trump gay rights, but everyone else’s?

I suppose the answer is yes…but still…

Anyway… Happy Holidays Joel!

Ben in Oakland
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

Jarred… of course you exist. I post, therefore I am.

KZ
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

“She started laughing…”

I would have laughed too.

Ben in Oakland
November 9th, 2009 | LINK

On the same line of reasoning:

“God is dead.” Nietsche

“Nietsche is dead.” God

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