Gay couple, one American, one German, who work for DOD in Europe face onslaught of discriminationOnline Only, Top Highlights Friday, September 7th, 2012
BY L. KOVE
The Waite family has been together for 11 years. They live in Germany where they married. Thomas is an American veteran and Marko is German. DOMA prevents them from being seen as a family by the American government. Germany views them as a family.
Both were working at the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Vilseck Post in low-level jobs. They were happy and in the eyes of some their happiness is unacceptable, because they are both of the same gender.
Thomas’ supervisor split his shifts daily. During the second half of each day his workload was beyond human capacity to complete. Thomas saw his and his husband’s supervisors get together and knew this was a bad sign.
When the on-the-job harassment was insufficient aggravation next Thomas was given an option of “Move to North Dakota or you’re fired.” Thomas a shelf-stocker in the Vilseck grocery store was already seeing a therapist – this put him over the edge.
He called their bluff and accepted the unexplainable limit of only North Dakota. Then the job was pulled back and he was fired. Shortly after Thomas was fired Marko was harassed on the job.
There is a presidential executive order # 13087 to prevent, within the federal government, on-the-job bias due to sexual orientation. Sadly the DOD does pick and choose which of the internal policies (executive orders) they will follow.
This is akin to religious fundamentalists who pick and choose only one out of 600 rules in Leviticus to follow. That one being, “If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.”
Apparently #13087 is not one they are enamored with. After all, unlike the rest of the federal government the DOD does not even teach its employees about the compliant processes for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Now this family has filed complaints within each of their nations’ bureaucracies’. I cannot speak about the German complaint process, but the associated American processes are cumbersome and in this case the facts are being ignored. The government, all the way up, only wants to focus on DOMA.
If DOMA gets blamed then obviously there is nothing the government can do – this is their tactic.
Yes DOMA is a piece of this, but it is not nearly as significant as the harassment due to sexual orientation bias. So management holds all the cards as this family’s world is shattered.
The government could have easily granted Thomas an overseas extension due to the government’s economic benefit. It often does this for others including his supervisor.
All this family wants is for the harassment to stop and for Thomas to get his job back.
DOD FED GLOBE wants the DOD to recognize their LGBT employees as part of diversity and take steps to prevent incidents and crimes of hate and also that a process be put in place to rehabilitate people from prejudice.
The Waites’ deserve a much better outcome!
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=28656