Friend Of Hostage Calm Fired For Wearing Same-Sex Marriage Shirt

Hostage Calm

Just when you think the country is moving in the right direction regarding equality something like this happens. According to a very lengthy post from our friends in Hostage Calm, a long-time friend of theirs was fired from his job at a concert venue for wearing a shirt that said “I Support Same-Sex Marriage”. While I will not get into my personal feelings on how disgusted I am with the actions of this man’s employers you are more than welcome to read what the members of Hostage Calm had to say by checking below the jump.

Let us know your thoughts! Did the venue cross the line or should the employee have known better?

Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a longtime supporter of Hostage Calm and marriage equality was fired from his job at the Nashville music venue, Rocketown, for wearing his “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” shirt to work. A friend from Nashville contacted me about the situation and told me of Wes Breedwell, this seven-year employee of Rocketown who now finds himself the victim of discrimination. We called this brave man to hear his story, demonstrate our support, and figure out how we can help.

What I heard from him was a long pattern of discrimination against him for not being Christian and for supporting marriage equality. Rocketown is a Christian-owned non-profit community center and venue: not a church. And yet, over the seven years he has worked there, he’s been denied opportunities for advancement and salary based on his non-Christian beliefs. Today, Rocketown fired him for wearing this shirt commemorating equality (along with his non-Christian activity on social media pages). Wes emphasized that employees routinely wear band shirts at Rocketown. So why did this shirt cause such a problem?

It’s important to note that they didn’t fire him for wearing A SHIRT. They fired him because of what that shirt stands for. For what that shirt threatens.

This shirt represents an idea that all people have the right to live their lives without being told who to love and whose love is more valuable. It represents equality under the law. It represents the freedom to choose.

So how could a youth center not support such a vital, foundational understanding of human freedom and equality as part of their social mission? Hostage Calm has played Rocketown multiple times. In my prior visits, I was under the impression that Rocketown was a positive force in this Nashville community: they had a music venue, skatepark, and other outlets for Nashville youth. But a youth center and music venue cannot be a positive force in the community if it degrades and belittles the value of some of our people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. That is the force that tears communities apart, not that enriches them.

I originally planned to make a post today about Dr. King, the status of his Dream, and how we can all work together to realize equality in modern America. This unfortunate event demonstrates that Dr. King’s Dream is still under threat, and that the struggle of the LGBT community for equal standing under the law is a Civil Rights issue of our time.

Hostage Calm promises to do everything in its power to raise awareness and challenge this injustice in Nashville. We will certainly never play Rocketown again. We’ll continue to post more information as Wes and H.C. take further action. For now, you can help by reposting his story to shine a light on this injustice, and by boycotting the venue. Most of all, please send all your support to Wes Breedwell and his fight for justice.

May Love Prevail,
Cmar, Hostage Calm

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  • Disgusting. To show my support (what little I can do), I ordered the same shirt tonight. Plan to wear that thing proudly around my conservative southern campus.

  • Ken Johnson

    I fully understand – I don’t think it’s good – but I get it. They are a conservative Christian group who believes that those who practice homosexuality are in sin and, unless they “repent” will be punished forever in hell. I would assume they would fire an employee who insisted on wearing a “Hustler” t-shirt, or a “Jack Daniel’s” t-shirt. They do not see this as any different. It’s their religion. I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN, but I get it. They don’t see it as a “bad” form of “prejudice” or “judgment” – but part of their responsibility in being faithful to what they believe the “the word of God” teaches. To expect them to embrace homosexuality is irrational – and is to expect them to violate their conscience and their convictions. I wouldn’t expect a conservative Muslim organization to affirm an employee who insisted on homosexuality either. Or a Jewish organization to affirm an employee who wears a t-shirt affirming the Aryan Nation.

  • Kriston McConnell

    I agree with you Ken. I can see in some places how certain things could “offend” people. I would never be allowed to wear a shirt to my office that had “bitch” on it. I think the issue with this venue though is that they had a problem with the message the shirt had, not necessarily because it could offend someone. I also think it was a little harsh for them to fire him instead of sending him home to change his shirt or make him put a hoodie on.