Pinoy shipworker in US fired for being ‘too gay’

Published by rudy Date posted on April 22, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO – A Filipino shipyard worker, along with his union and supporters, launched a protest in San Francisco for being unjustly fired because of his sexual orientation.

Dozens of gay supporters and labor leaders rallied in front of the Alcatraz Hornblower Cruises and demanded that Filipino Vincent Atos be given his job back.

The openly gay Atos said in October of last year he was fired by management after being accused of offering sexual favors to one of his coworkers. He denies the accusation.

Union leaders said getting fired for acting too gay at work is a violation of workers rights.

“Here in San Francisco, that’s a big no-no and the human rights commission in the city and county of San Francisco is presently investigating Vincent’s case,” said Peter Olney of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Atos said Alcatraz Hornblower Cruises, like many shipyard companies, is a male-dominated company that frowns on homosexuality.

“There is absolutely zero discrimination against race, gender, cultural or religious backgrounds. It’s not a male-dominated company,” said Tegan Firth of the Alcatraz Hornblower Cruises.

Atos said getting fired for being gay has caused him emotional distress.

“It’s very stressful. I lost weight. I had sleepless nights. It’s very stressful on my part,” he said.

Despite being openly gay, Atos is married to a woman, and this has strained his marriage. He is asking for back wages and to get his job back from his company. Balitang America

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