Maine reporter fired over gay marriage email
Raw StoryAccording to HRC, however Grard's actual email read, "Who are the hateful, venom-spewing ones? Hint: Not the yes on 1 crowd. You hateful people have been spreading nothing but vitriol since this campaign began. Good riddance!"
MAINE NEWSPAPER REPORTER CLAIMS WRONGFUL TERMINATION, CHARGES "ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS" OVER INCENDIARY GAY MARRIAGE EMAIL
Larry Grard, a Maine newspaper reporter who has written for 18 years for the Waterville Morning Sentinel, was fired from his job after sending an incendiary email to the Human Rights Campaign one day after the state of Maine voted on the referendum Question One and repealed gay marriage.
This is an example of what can happen when you stand up for your beliefs," Grard told FoxNews.com. "I was the lone conservative wolf in that newsroom for years and I never said a thing because nobody agreed with me. I suppose that's what conservatives have to do today — just shut up."
The Portland Newspaper Guild has now filed a grievance on behalf of the reporter, with calls for his re-instatement. Grard claims he wrote the email as a private citizen, and it was unrelated to his work as a reporter. His wife's food column has also been canceled from the paper, and Grard is blaming all on what he calls an "anti-Christian bias".
"They said the Yes-on-1 people were haters," Grard toldDownEast.com. "I'm a Christian. I take offense at that. I e-mailed them back and said basically, ‘We’re not the ones doing the hating. You’re the ones doing the hating.’ I sent the same message in his face he sent in mine."
According to HRC, however Grard's actual email read, "Who are the hateful, venom-spewing ones? Hint: Not the yes on 1 crowd. You hateful people have been spreading nothing but vitriol since this campaign began. Good riddance!"
Grard, who appears to report primarily on local events rather than politics, had not covered the marriage issue and sent the email as a private citizen. He did not expect his connection with the paper to become known, but after an HRC worker spotted the message the organization quickly discovered that Grard worked for the Waterville Morning Sentinel and contacted the paper to complain.
Conservative blogs are now blaming Grard's firing on the "gay-left lobby," but HRC deputy communications director Trevor Thomas insists, "At no time did I ask Larry to be fired, but instead had one email interaction with his editor where I said: 'I received the below email this morning after our national media release was sent to your team. ... It's frankly, just not acceptable coming from a news organization the morning after our defeat.'"
The paper made its own decision to let Grard go, as well as terminating his wife Lisa's biweekly food column. According to DownEast, "The Sentinel and the other MaineToday papers editorialized in favor of same-sex marriage." Grard now he blames the lost of his job on "anti-Christian bias."
Although Grard had never incurred disciplinary action during his 18 years with the Sentinel, it appears that this was not the first time he had expressed his personal opinions in what might be considered an intemperate manner. On January 4, 2008, for example, a "Larry Grard" of "Winslow, Me." commented at an MSNBC blog, "Hillary Clinnton is despised, and we owe [Obama] a huge, collective thank you for bringingi down the most evil public figure in American history."
The Newspaper Guild is supporting Grard's demand for reinstatement on the ground that his contract "requires that there be progressive discipline in situations like this." An arbitration hearing is expected to be held within three or four months.
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