Mary McAngus, Mayor of Pomeroy, Ohio, faces legal action after trying to get a gay police officer fired and calling him “queer.”
The officer, Kyle Calendine, was hired by the Pomeroy Police Department in September. Since Calendine’s hiring, Police Chief Mark E. Proffitt says that the Mayor has referred to him as a “queer,” along with a number of other slurs.
Calendine spoke with WSAZ News Channel 3 about the the situation:
“She was even in the hiring process and she seemed fine. A few weeks later you know, she finds out I’m gay and tries to get me fired because she doesn’t like who I am outside of work.”
Proffit stands against McAngus and believes no one should be fired because they are gay. He says:
“I believe in integrity. I believe in fairness for everybody. And not to discriminate against anybody for any reason.”
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Proffit submitted an information packet to the Pomeroy Village Council last month to discuss McAngus’ bias against Calendine. In the packet he writes:
“She stated ‘I don’t like a Queer working for the Village, I might be old-fashioned, but I don’t like it.'”
He also writes that McAngus has repeatedly tried to stop visits from Calendine’s partner, even though spousal visits happen on a regular basis for the other officers. And when McAngus asked him what he was going to do about working with a gay police officer, Proffit says he told her, “nothing.”
President of the Village Council, Jackie Welker, says Pomeroy does not believe in discrimination and an investigation has been launched to determine what action needs to be taken.
Calendine is grateful for his community’s support, including the support of his fellow officers. He says:
“It’s nice to have their support. Knowing that they don’t care who I am. That they know that I’m here to help them. If there was ever something wrong, they know I’d be right there fighting for them for anything.”
There is still a long battle ahead for true equal rights. A Florida school recently announced they would rather ban clubs than allow a Gay-Straight Alliance. At the same time the Boy Scouts have delayed their decision on admitting gay scouts.
Kyle Calendine’s story could serve as a positive step for equal rights, depending on the outcome.
Knowing that Mayor Mary McAngus openly believes gay police officers should be fired, what action do you think the Village Council should take?
[image via ShutterStock]