Man Fired By American Red Cross For Not Celebrating Homosexuality
By Lindsey Douthit
August 4, 2005
Forward courtesy of Chief David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Red Cross even has Corporate Diversity committees that
oversee the implementation of a "diversity code."
The American Red Cross fired an employee, Michael Hartman, for expressing
his disagreement with homosexuality.
Hartman had been a volunteer and donor for the Red Cross for over 30 years
when he became an employee at the San Diego, California, center. He had
been there for about eight months when, in the latter part of May 2005,
a mass e-mail was sent to employees reminding everyone that June was Gay
and Lesbian Pride Month and employees were encouraged to "observe"
The e-mail, distributed by Chief Diversity Officer David Wilkins, stated,
"It is my pleasure to announce that June will be recognized as Gay
and Lesbian Pride Month at national headquarters.It is only fitting that
we reinforce our organization's commitment to inclusion.by recognizing this
important group and celebrating the many accomplishments they have made
to our organization.I'd like to take this opportunity during the month of
June to encourage field units to extend their reach into gay and lesbian
As a Christian, Hartman was concerned by the e-mail and expressed his sentiments
to his female supervisor, "who did not care." He then e-mailed
several head administrators, who immediately called him into the Red Cross
regional center in Pomona, California. Hartman was reprimanded and told
that his e-mail was "not appropriate." The "inappropriate"
e-mail that Hartman sent contained the following statements:
"I would like to start by stating that I am a Christian not willing
to compromise my beliefs to promote the agenda of the homosexual community.
I would also like to say that I think it's disgraceful that while most of
us [at the Red Cross] are trying to save lives, a select few are using this
organization to promote their own lifestyles which in my opinion are unacceptable."
Hartman went on to say that if anyone reading his e-mail "is personally
involved in this lifestyle.I think it's important that you know I have nothing
against you as a person but the life you've chosen to live." He added
Bible verses including Galatians 6:7 and Joshua 24:15.
After being reprimanded, Hartman took a week off of work because his mother,
a U.S. Marine, had passed away. When he returned to the office, he noticed
that Gay and Lesbian Pride posters were placed all over the office. In a
later e-mail to the Pacific Justice Institute, an organization that Hartman
contacted after his termination, he wrote, "One of my primary jobs
is recruiting and promoting the Red Cross. Under the present circumstances
I cannot promote something that harbors and encourages this sexual cancer,
that we all know is eroding our society."
Convicted that he had to take action, Hartman "prayed about it"
and put together an e-mail to the Southern California region of the Red
Cross. In the e-mail, he reiterated, "I respect and value your opinions"
but added, "as you explained to me, celebrating homosexual pride month
is consistent with our recognition of Black History Month, Women's History
Month, Older Americans Month, and Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.I'm
still struggling to see a correlation between celebrating Great Americans
and celebrating a sexual preference."
He also suggested that since the Red Cross is "such a diversified organization,"
perhaps it should hold a Christian celebration. He was put on "administrative
leave" from work and called into another meeting with administrators.
James Hartline, an ex-homosexual who is now a Christian conservative activist,
went with Hartman to the meeting to serve as a form of representation. The
administrators refused to see Hartman unless he was by himself, and when
he insisted upon having counsel at the meeting, he was dismissed and told
that they would "reschedule" a time to speak with him. Two days
later, he received his termination notice.
Hartman has experienced an intensely difficult year - two years ago, he
lost all of his belongings in the California wildfires, and he recently
lost his mother. A Sunday School teacher and father of three daughters,
he said, "I realize what I'm up against, but I'll go the distance.So
many have a complacent attitude, and our kids are facing the consequences."
He plans to seek help from Christian legal groups such as the Alliance Defense
Fund. Unfortunately, Hartman's legal options may be limited, as the Red
Cross is a privately funded organization and may therefore exert its own
prerogative in these matters.
The Red Cross even has its own body of Corporate Diversity committees that
oversees the implementation of a "diversity code" for the organization.
Employees must participate in "diversity training" seminars, and
they are subject to the "diversity vision" of the Red Cross that
includes "sexual orientation" on the list of "communities
"We are seeing an alarming double standard emerging in
corporations and nonprofits," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned
Women for America's Culture & Family Institute. "If you are not
in a specially protected group, you don't get the same consideration. More
and more, Christians are being harshly disciplined or even fired for actions
that would bring a slap on the wrist to a homosexual activist or feminist."
It is important that Christians are alerted to this unfortunate situation.
Many Christians give money or support to the American Red Cross without
ever realizing that the organization openly promotes homosexuality.
In the words of Michael Hartman, "If the public knew what was going
on within the Red Cross I have no doubt their unselfish support would screech
to a halt."
Lindsey Douthit is a Ronald Reagan Memorial Intern with Concerned
Women for America. She interviewed Michael Hartman over the phone on July
29, 2005. A representative for the Red Cross could not be reached for comment.
Concerned Women for America
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Phone: (202) 488-7000
Fax: (202) 488-0806
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