In response to Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay’s recent actions in support of an exemption from federal regulations that bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the current policies at Gordon College that require strict adherence to behavioral standards for students, faculty and staff that are discriminatory towards LGBT individuals, Mayor Kim Driscoll sent a letter to President Lindsay this morning notifying him and his Board of Trustees of the City’s termination of their management contract of Old Town Hall due to the institution’s non-compliance with the City of Salem’s fully LGBT-inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance.
“I am truly disappointed in the stance you have taken, which plainly discriminates against the rights of LGBT individuals, both on and off campus,” said Mayor Driscoll in the letter to President Lindsay. “These actions fly in the face of the City of Salem’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which prohibits our municipality from contracting with entities that maintain discriminatory practices. While I respect your rights to embed religious values on a private college campus, religious freedom does not afford you the right to impose those beliefs upon others and cannot be extended into a publicly owned facility or any management contract for a publicly owned facility, like Old Town Hall. Moreover, I hope you realize how hurtful and offensive these “behavioral standards” are to members of the greater Salem LGBT community, some of whom are Gordon alumni, staff and/or students.”
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