Music teacher Jonathan Zeng
A Christian school in the United States has rescinded a job offer to a music teacher after it discovered that he is gay.
Last week, following an interview, the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy extended a verbal offer to Jonathan Zeng for a position at their Armleder School in Cincinnati.
Several hours later, one of the interview panel members, David Thompson, phoned Zeng and asked him to return to the school to complete some outstanding business and where he enquired about his sexual orientation.
“I was completely taken aback by this and asked why that was important,” Zeng wrote in a letter to the school about the incident.
“[Thompson] explained that it was school policy not to employ teachers who are homosexual. When I asked why, he said that it was because I would work with children and because of the sanctity of marriage. I can’t begin to say how offensive and painful his comments were.”
Zeng went on to say: “It saddens me to think that your students’ education is potentially being compromised because of your lack of embrace of true Christian diversity.
“This opportunity was taken away simply because of how I was created. My sexual orientation has no impact on my teaching abilities or the words that I would say. I am appalled to think that the philosophy of your school would not allow a gay Christian to work with children…”
Under U.S. law the school is entitled to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation in their employment policy because it is a religious school.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality Cincinnati, and Equality Ohio called on the school to reverse its stance and said that “just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right.”
HRC President Joe Solmonese commented: “The Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy put Jonathan Zeng through an interview process and concluded he was one of the best people for the job.
“Jonathan’s sexual orientation should in no way change that assessment, but the school appears to have taken Jonathan out of the running simply because he was gay. This is an injustice to both Jonathan and the CHCA community – it sends the message to students that there’s something wrong with being gay.”
Zeng concluded his letter to the school by quoting a passage from the Bible (James 4:12). “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?”