MISSOURI: State Court Rules That Calling Employee “Cocksucker” Doesn’t Violate Human Rights Law

A Missouri state appeals court has ruled that called a gay employee “cocksucker” and asking if he has AIDS does not violate the law because Missouri has no employment protections for LGBT citizens. Courthouse News Service reports:

A divided three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that James Pittman cannot hold his former employer, Cook Paper Recycling Corp., liable because state law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Contrary to Pittman’s and the ACLU’s contentions, the language of the Missouri Human Rights Act is clear and unambiguous: it prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religions, national origin, sex, ancestry, age or disability,” Judge James Welsh wrote for the majority. “It does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

But Welsh was not joined in his opinion by his colleagues, with Judge Robert Clayton III concurring in result only and Judge Anthony Gabbert dissenting. Pittman’s 2014 complaint alleged that Cook Paper president Joe Jurden [PHOTO] made discriminatory sexual comments to Pittman. The company also discriminated against him based on the man he was dating, and when the relationship ended, treated him more harshly than straight male employees going through divorces, the complaint states. After working for the company for more than seven years, Pittman says he was terminated for being gay in 2011.

Affirming the lower court’s dismissal, Welsh said that Missouri law does not name “sexual preference” discrimination in its list of prohibited workplace conduct, and the inclusion of “sex” as a prohibited factor is not the same thing. “Unlike many other states, Missouri has not enacted legislation prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals by adding sexual orientation as a protected status in the Missouri Human Rights Act,” Welsh wrote. “If the Missouri Legislature had desired to include sexual orientation in the Missouri Human Rights Act’s protections, it could have done so.”

The ACLU reacts via press release:

Today the Missouri Court of Appeals made two things very clear: Missourians are being harassed, bullied, and fired from their jobs for being gay, lesbian, or bisexual and they will have no recourse in the courts unless the State Legislature changes the Missouri Human Rights Act to protect them. In what was clearly a reluctant decision, the court denied James Pittman’s claim against his employer for creating a hostile work environment – and eventually firing him – because he is a gay man. The court did not deny that what James experienced was real, but instead made clear that their hands were tied by Missouri law.

Contrary to what many believe, lesbian, gay, and bisexual Missourians can still be fired, kicked out of their homes, or denied service at a restaurant because of who they are and who they love. The ACLU has been calling on the legislature to change this for years, to have the basic decency to catch up to what 27 other states have already done – include LGBT people in the Missouri Human Rights Act. Pass the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act.

See the ACLU’s amicus brief here. The company’s website boasts that Jurden “spends his free time volunteering for his church.” (Tipped by JMG reader Mitchell)

  • Philly Mike

    This clearly shows why we ned to get out and vote so LGBT protections become a Federal law.

    • Prion

      But…But…I thought only christians were oppressed!

      • fuow

        And, the ones who do vote are overwhelmingly rethuglican or further to the right.

      • TampaZeke

        And those who don’t vote are always the ones who bitch and moan the most about what people they didn’t vote for did or didn’t do.

        • lymis

          I had one friend a long time ago who would politely interrupt anyone who started talking politics and apologize for the interruption and ask, “Excuse me, did you vote in the last election?” If the answer was yes, then regardless of the opinion being expressed, he’d say, “Sorry, go on.”

          If the answer was no, then he’s lean in and say, “Then shut the fuck up. You’re not allowed an opinion.”

          I’ve never done it, but I’ve always admired it and often been tempted to do it.

          • KCMC

            love that. using it, will have to work up to the, ‘politely,’ part.

          • Brian Burleson

            I have used that line before and it worked and most if not all got my point.

          • ColdCountry

            I went off on a co-worker like that once. He turned to the other guy in the room for support, but that guy told him he agreed with me. It was very satisfying.

        • TrollopeReader

          Yes. Many of those who complain the loudest about our Kenyan Marxist (sic) president, or the RINO squishes leading Congress and the like, spend hours daily complaining online …..yet they were the ones sooooo upset that they stayed home on election day to “make a point” to the Establishment.

          Interestingly, many of them claim to have “defeated” Romney, as millions more sat out the 2012 election. Well, yes, Obama garnered a few million fewer votes than 2008. But Romney got 1 million *more* than McCain. They know no facts.

      • cleos_mom

        You don’t vote, I don’t wanna hear you bitch.

        • DaddyRay

          And vote in EVERY election, not just the Presidential elections. The midterms are where most of the extreme get elected because they count on people not showing up

      • Steven Leahy

        This says it all.

  • Mark

    Every vote counts!

  • Lakeview Bob

    What a good Christian. God must be proud of him.

  • chris james

    Jeebus would be so proud of this cocksucker oriented Christian. When this Jurden A-hole gets busted for diddling little boys or girls I hope the Missouri news points the finger at him…I know what finger I would use.

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    Disgusting, just disgusting.

  • lymis

    So many people think we already have these protections – even many gay people. And we don’t, in almost as many places as we do.

    Throw this in the face of anyone who tells you they don’t bother to vote, or that the Democrats are “just the same” as the Republicans, or that who nominates judges and Supreme Court Justices doesn’t matter.

    • oikos
    • Ninja0980

      We could but many of them are idiots like Bill Perdue and simply won’t listen.

    • Belthazar

      Well said! I will only add that this case should be highlighted and used
      as a primary example. People did not simply believe it was happening
      because actually cases were not being emphasized.

    • JT

      Yes, unfortunately most people think anti-gay discrimination is illegal.
      http://i1.wp.com/www.towleroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/LGBT.jpeg?resize=740,406

      • lymis

        And sadly, this not only shows ignorance of the actual reality, but it also fuels the ongoing belief that LGBT people are asking for “special rights.” Since (in these people’s minds) we already HAVE equality, and since we’re manifestly asking for something, what we are asking for must therefore be something special over and above equality.

        Once it really sinks in that, no, we’re still nowhere near legally protected in the workplace, housing, or public accommodation, people start to get outraged on our behalf. But that’s clearly a huge ongoing education effort.

        • Cackalaquiano

          Very well said. We have a lot of work to do to get this message out. I know many allies who have said “I honestly didn’t know this.” This court case may be an opportunity for us to make the case. Missouri is NOT alone in this.

          And if more cases go through the system, maybe the issue ends up at the Supreme Court in a few years, will any of these Republican candidates have nominated justices that would rule in our favor?

  • Webslinger
  • aar9n

    Ah the Christians, such nice people

  • JT
  • Webslinger

    Facts about Missouri

    Workplace

    Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

    NO

    Does state law protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

    NO

    Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

    NO

    Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression?

    NO

    http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/29165153/Missouri-Welcomes-You-1125×635.jpg

    • clay

      Missouri– just, No.

      • Steven Leahy

        LOL not one of my favorite states, unfortunately I have to visit/drive through it regularly.

        • Christopher

          I live in St.Louis. Not bad here, but everywhere else sucks!

          We’ve gotten used to seeing murder reports every morning on the news.

          • Steven Leahy

            No offense but rural Missouri is a shit hole, redneck as any place in the deep south. I got pulled over and ticketed on a rural road by one of MO’s corrupt state police officers – a road with almost no traffic after I passed a guy – not for speeding – for “following too closely” – cop gave the guy I passed a big thumbs up after he pulled me over when the guy I passed drove by slowly. The guy I passed disappeared and then a few minutes later, cop flies up on me from behind. I had Nebraska plates so easy to spot. Was clear the guy in the truck called me in because he was pissed that I passed him.

          • Christopher

            Thankfully you got a state trooper. The small town cops are WAY worse.

            This whole state IS a shithole! I hate living here, but we can’t afford to move to a blue state. Funny how the Liberal states are more expensive to live in than the Conservative states.

            We would love to move to Washington or Oregon coastal cities, but “The Rent Is Too Damn High!”

          • Randy Left Brooklyn

            You may find the pay is better in blue states, which may make the numbers work for you.

          • Christopher

            We’re definitely keeping that in mind.

          • Steven Leahy

            At first I thought he WAS a local cop! He never identified himself but had a blue uniform on. I didn’t know the uniforms. He asked for my driver’s license and nothing else and sat in his car for 10 or 15 minutes. It was really weird. When he brought the ticket he said “you know you were doing what we call aggressive driving” and cited me for following too close at 58 mph (speed limit was 60). There was almost no traffic. The ticket said “Missouri Highway Patrol”. This just happened recently. I was so angry I wrote an email to the prof. standards people in Jeff City – to their credit a LT there called me very quickly and was very nice and said he’d talk to the guy’s commander. However I just sucked it up and paid the $99 fine, how do I prove it? Fighting the fine is a separate issue from making the complaint. And then to fight it, have to pay for a hotel stay maybe a lawyer, etc not worth it.

          • Steven Leahy

            True, and due to low costs, many of the better jobs in many fields are in red states. I have always lived in red states. Great jobs but not always desirable places for LGBT people to live. My home state is technically a blue state (IL) but as you know being right next door, outside of Chicago it is pretty fucking red!

          • Ninja0980

            Just like NY.. blue and then a lot of red.

          • cleos_mom

            And Kansas, right across the border, is even worse.

            Think about that. It’s scary.

          • jmax

            I was born in Missouri and have lots of family there. I have lived in Kansas all my adult life. In either state, once you leave the cities/larger towns, they’re both the same. Bunch of bible-thumping farmers who don’t take kindly to anyone who isn’t just like them. And you can throw Oklahoma and Nebraska into that mix too.

          • Ragnar Lothbrok

            Iowa too. But it didn’t always use to be like this. When I was growing up in rural Steve King district, I didn’t know any red necks, tea people or religious nuts. People were decent, fun, smart, enjoyable and everyone seemed balanced.
            Something changed in the last 20- 30 years and I think its a combo of the ” smart ones ” getting the hell out, the internet,fox noise and income disparity.

          • jmax

            Along with the Religious Right’s emergence in politics and the refusal of lgbt people to remain invisible.

          • NancyP

            The combination of a poor economy in rural counties, the Wal-Martization of rural shopping (and death of small stores), the globalization of manufacturing and consequent closing of rural factories, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the internet have turned people mean, or meaner than usual. Face it – a lot of rural towns look like ghost towns. Meth is both a problem and an industry in the rural Midwest for a reason – it’s one of the few growth industries in town.

          • Steven Leahy

            And Indiana – and Illinois – and many others 🙂

          • jmax

            And that’s kinda my point. I just mentioned the areas I am most familiar with, but I would bet there are people from every part of the country who have experienced the same thing.

          • KCMC

            drive through that daily in 2 rural counties north of Kansas City. Remnants of backwater confederacy thrive.

          • Steven Leahy

            Yes, I drive I-29 all the time. This was a rural road north of Chillicothe.

          • KCMC

            Halloween 24-7, rural meth-land.
            Wondering if you caught, “Winter’s Bone?” (filmed in southern MO)
            Could be cast with locals in so much of this rural region.

          • Steven Leahy

            LOL I always referred to it as driving into the Meth Cloud, funny you should say that 🙂 Like Appalachia without the hills.

          • KCMC

            Srsly. Teens with whom I work who know that area run that direction, easy score to use.

          • Bruno

            You could say that about a lot of states where there are major cities and then rural areas. Lol

          • Christopher

            True. From my experience virtually every place that is not a city is Cousinfuckerville.

          • Bruno

            I live in wealthy part of CT outside NYC and no I do not have a trust fund. I could easily drive 45 minutes and be in Hicksville Either in NY or CT.

          • canoebum

            A slight exaggeration. At 45 miles an hour, if you live in Danbury, you’d end up in either Columbia or Orange counties in New York, or in southwest Massachusetts, none of which are what can rightly be called redneck country, If you want to go to Hicksville from there in that time, you’d have to travel to Long Island across the Tri-borough Bridge (now the RFK), but I doubt you’d make it in that time.

          • Bruno

            No it’s not an exaggeration.

          • canoebum

            If you say so. It’s not Missouri or Arkansas, or even Pennsylvania. You can’t have it that bad living in New England.

          • radiofreerome

            Cousinfuckerville usually has a very high incidence of UNSOLVED murders. Cousin fuckers won’t cooperate with the police.

          • stuckinthewoods

            We’ve noticed that lately. Richmond news reported violent crimes but Charlottesville had few. No longer. Even local rural news has changed from “cow in road” to shootings.

          • Bruno

            I was used to seeing murder reports every morning in CT where I live outside NYC. So I get to hear about NJ, NY and CT.

            Local news is trash TV so I stopped watching it.

          • radiofreerome

            In New Orleans, they just don’t bother reporting murders. They have more than 150 armed robberies in a month.

      • Bruno

        It’s so easy to say that but remember there are a lot of good LGBT folk in MO who are fighting a very good fight so let’s be supportive.

      • JCF

        Don’t go to MO, if you’re a ‘mo.

        • NancyP

          Excuse me, plenty of LGBTs and political activity in MO. If people aren’t willing to work to change their own communities, the young LGBT people will still be coming of age in repressive communities.

    • KCMC

      Many professional closets here, to say the least.
      Yes to Fed legislation as in so many states this will not be a sufficient priority. Ever.
      How is this case not harassment? Would be in most work places had those remarks passed from man to woman.
      Yes, there are many civil places in MO not unlike most of Mid-West, others that are not.

    • Does state law expressly protect employees of state and local
      governments from discrimination on the basis of religion

      YES

      (and it’s so interesting to note how religion is a choice, unlike any of the other protected classes. and it’s not like the religious are a minority, either)

    • radiofreerome

      Missouri, the “Blow Me.” State.

  • OdieDenCO

    studies have shown harassment is detrimental to ones health, causing long terms damage both physical and mental. the lawyers should have called in OSHA and charged the company with creating a hazardous work place!

    • at the very least it was clear cut sexual harassment!!

      • Chris Baker

        If you called a female employee a cocksucker, the employer would be in so much trouble. Same with making fun of an employee for being a virgin. I wonder why he didn’t pursue a sexual harassment case.

        Next time an employer needs to fire an employee, he just needs to say “I am firing you because you are straight.” Let’s see how fast these same people cry out that is wrong to fire someone for being straight. I would love to put an ad for a job “straights need not apply”.

        • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

          You could legally do that in Missouri and about 27 other states. Wherever it’s legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation, that could technically be used against straight people.

  • Randy Left Brooklyn

    Because you know, being called a cocksucker by your boss is just speaking the truth. It isn’t real discrimination, like when a Christian is being forced to do her job, even though Jesus tells her not to.

    • Blake Jordan

      Well actually Jesus would be one of the people telling her to do her job…

      • fuow

        Oh course he would be – he was a Jew, not a Christian.

        • Cackalaquiano

          … but he had blue eyes and blond hair, right? And he voted Republican in all those ancient Judean elections, right?

      • CottonBlimp

        Why do you think that?

        • JCF

          “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…”

  • Strepsi

    While it is horrific there is no protected status, so much of this story makes no sense to me, i.e. “when the relationship ended, treated him more harshly than straight male employees going through divorces”…. why is a boss treating ANYONE “harshly” because of their private lives, including straight divorcees?

    It’s illegal for a company to create a ‘hostile work environment’ here in Canada — regardless of any personal attribute of any employee — is that not the case in Missouri?

    • Randy Left Brooklyn

      For your information, in the U.S. any employer can create any kind of hostile work environment they want to, unless it is specifically in the law that something like race or religious discrimination is illegal.

      • Strepsi

        Just wow.

        And that “What does GAY stand for? Got Aids Yet” joke is one I used to get as a teen in the 1980’s . These asshole bigots are literally 30-50 years behind the times. Assholes.

    • Bluto

      Unfortunately this ain’t a civilized county like Canada.

    • fuow

      No.

    • Robert W. Pierce

      Indeed, horrific.

      Here too in the UK, we’ve had protection in employment and in the delivery of goods and services for everyone, especially for LGBT people. Only last week, a gay man won a lawsuit against a hardware store owner who didn’t actually verbalise homophobic abuse against him but made a number of overtly homophobic gestures. It’s become a landmark case since nothing was actually said to the man.

  • clay

    What are they playing? Fortune Cookie Justice? “State Court Rules That Calling Employee “Cocksucker” Doesn’t Violate Human Rights Law . . . in bed.”

    I’m with the feds on this one– if it would have made a hostile environment to ask a straight woman if she’s a cocksucker, or has an STI, or harassing her for dumping (or being dumped by) her boyfriend, then it IS a case of sex-based discrimination.

    • OrliJoe in Fla

      Agreed!

    • Circ09

      One problem is the longstanding confusion of using the word sex in place of gender. And neither as written in laws without GLBT protections refers to romantic intentions regardless of orientation.

      • Mark Lewis

        Orientation is the romantic inclination. Sex is just some animal act.

        • Circ09

          Yeah. You are right. You clearly didn’t understand my post. As for the rest- I don’t have time for. Good goddess.

  • Ninja0980

    This story needs to be told far and wide so our side can understand that this story isn’t an outlier, it is a reality for LGBT folks in so many different states country.
    This man’s employer made it 100% clear why he was being harrassed and why he was ultimately fired and yet because there is no state or federal law to protect LGBT people, there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it.
    And for those bitching about how both parties are the same, your attitudes are why we won’t be seeing LGBT rights on the Federal Level until the next decade when maps can be redrawn and Democrats have a chance to take control of Congress again.
    Until then, we will be dealing with a Republican Congress whose only involvement on LGBT issues will be trying to roll back all the rights we’ve gained.
    Get out and vote in elections next week and every election year, it’s the only way we can bring change.

    • Herald

      Sadly this is true of SC and many other states as well.
      WE need a Dem. Congress and President with the strength to pass an effective ENDA!

    • there are at least two problems at work here.

      the first is the obvious one; if we’re going to protect minorities, the LGBT community should most obviously be on that list. the fact that we’re not in some places is bullshit, unconstitutional, blah blah you know the drill. only the combination of religion and right wing politics keeps us off the books nationally.

      the other problem is our current labor laws, which punish any worker impulse to demand fair treatment. i believe missouri is an “at will” employment state? one of the worst laws ever passed, imho. workers of *any* kind deserve decent, equal, fair treatment. no boss should have the “right” to fire a worker solely for the (rather childish and petulant) reason of “i don’t like you. your kind is icky to me.” once upon a time we had better labor laws which protected people from shit like this. but then again, once upon we had sensible gun laws. sigh.

      • Ninja0980

        Actually, I don’t think Missouri is a right to work state due to the Democratic gov vetoting it and Republicans not having enough votes to override it.
        Everything else you said is dead on.
        It’s sad to see labor unions become the enemy, it truly is.

  • Sam_Handwich

    the dissent is an interesting read about what constitutes “sex” discrimination…

    I would further find that, not only did Pittman’s petition state a claim by his reference to gender bias, but that, under the spirit of the law, allegations of discrimination based upon a person’s sexual orientation (or preference) and gender stereotype also state claims as they are encompassed by the term “sex” in the Missouri Human Rights Act. As the EEOC decision stated, “sexual orientation is inherently a ‘sex-based consideration” because when an employertakes a person’s sexual orientation into account the employer necessarily considers a person’s sex. Complainant v. Foxx at 6. In other words, a person’s sex is always considered when taking a person’s sexual orientation into account. (E.g., homosexual, heterosexual). Thus, under the spirit of the law, sexual discrimination claims based on sexual orientation are act aionable claims under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

    Therefore, by the plain language and spirit of the law of the Missouri Human Rights Act, I would find that Pittman’s petition states an actionable claim of sexual discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

    Anthony Rex Gabbert, Judge

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/columbiatribune.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c2/3c256671-84f4-5600-b5f3-ba0277f91a31/563003205307e.pdf.pdf

    • Octavio

      Well, there’s a ray of hope in Rex Gabbert. Too bad his colleagues aren’t as smart.

    • BobSF_94117

      He’s grabbing at straws. Sex discrimination is not discrimination on sexual orientation and pretending it is just delays — or sometimes prevents — dealing with the real issue.

      • clay

        Sex discrimination is based on gender ideals, as is much of LGBT discrimination. The EEOC’s method isn’t fool-proof (there’s apparently one fool on the MO bench), nor permanent, but it is welcome.

      • lymis

        If you treat straight men and straight women the same, and then apply different rules to someone who isn’t straight, then the discrimination is based on orientation, not gender (or sex, under the law.)

        Sometimes, you can apply sex discrimination logic to something – a solid case was often made that denying marriage to same-sex couples was individual sex discrimination (Amy couldn’t marry Eve but Adam could, specifically because Amy is a woman).

        But it requires some special gymnastics to apply sex discrimination to every LGBT discrimination issue. “You wouldn’t fire a woman for having sex with men, but you’re firing a man for doing so” is a parallel logic.

        But in reality, we all know that the intention is to discriminate against people for not being straight, and that sex discrimination, when it happens is the mechanism for that, not the reason for it. And until that reality is dealt with, we’re not done.

  • oikos

    Joe Jurden calls people cocksuckers because he thinks about it himself. Most likely obsessively.

    • Cackalaquiano

      At first I read your comment and thought you were talking about Joe Jervis. Seemed like a bizarre swipe at our blog host!

      • oikos

        Not unless he’s changed his last name without us knowing.

        • Cackalaquiano

          Nah, I just need more coffee. And brain cells probably.

  • Necessitas

    Since the courts won’t punish the inhuman behavior of Cook Paper Recycling, it’s up to all of us to do that in any legal way possible. It should start with a 24/7 protest outside of the business and outside of the owner’s home.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Take out an ad in the local paper explaining what an ass the boss really is.

    • Strepsi

      and every photo of him should have added to it a hard penis pointing at his mouth.

      If he wants to run his company lie a high school locker room, bring it.

  • CanuckDon

    Since society and family genetics keep breeding cocky, uncaring asswipes like this guy, we will always need laws to protect human rights specifically for minorities like LGBT.

  • So, for a non-breeding employer, calling their breeding employee the pejorative “Breeder” would also be legal?

    • lymis

      Legal, yes. And it would be legal for his boss to fire him for doing so.

  • Mark

    Missouri – the ‘show ’em the door’ state of hate.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Harassment is harassment. Make one’s work environment miserable, no matter the reason, should be against the law. If this boss is such an ass, why didn’t anyone else from work stand up and say anything? Something just sounds wrong. The ACLU is usually better than this.

    • Steven Leahy

      Exactly – it’s a hostile work environment, whether related to orientation or not.

    • lymis

      I agree – but it’s important to understand that legally, this would still make the harassment a completely different matter from the firing.

      Harassment is harassment, and if there are workplace protections for that, they’d apply. If the same comments made to a woman would be grounds for action, then it’s sex discrimination not to apply them to a man.

      However, a polite and … ahem …. professional simple “You’re fired, goodbye” would still be fully legal.

      • Chris Baker

        Right, they don’t need to state a reason to fire him. MO is an at-will state. They probably just said “we are firing you because you are gay” because they could, with impunity.

    • Andy King

      It may be that the ACLU specifically pursued this case to get this specific outcome, one that they could use as a publicity case to reinforce the need for LGBT protections state/nation-wide (even if they could, as you say, win the case fairly easily on the broader claim of general harassment). It sounds calculating because it is, but civil rights groups have a long history of picking and choosing “good-looking” cases because they’ll be publicly scrutinized (as in the case of Rosa Parks being chosen by the NAACP as their cause célèbre over other “less sympathetic” cases for challenging discrimination). If that is what’s happening here, it wouldn’t be unusual.

      • fuow

        I was wondering about that, myself.

      • Chris Baker

        Hmm, that would explain why they did not go after the ‘sexual harassment’ angle, which was clear. If they called a female employee a ‘cocksucker’, she would have a clear claim of sexual harassment. So it would have been the same with a male employee.

  • Steven Leahy

    Of course they’re not going to SAY they termed him for sexual orientation, law or not!

    Yet another example. National law, NOW.

    • Cackalaquiano

      … and another clear example of why we ALL have to vote. If you’re not voting, you are as much responsible for this as the Republicans who block this sort of legislation.

      • Steven Leahy

        Totally agree. And liberals/progressives are generally horrible about voting in many places relative to their conservative counterparts.

        • Cackalaquiano

          We tend to lack the passion and the determination that conservatives have. Maybe because we don’t buy into blatant fear mongering? If people don’t think out a few years about the real potential consequences of letting right wing extremists win elections, we’ll absolutely have scary legislation and Supreme Court justices.

          • Steven Leahy

            Agree. And I am SO disappointed about apathetic LGBT people. We in particular have SO much to lose.

          • Belthazar

            Deserves repeating: “I am SO disappointed about apathetic LGBT people. We in particular have SO much to lose.”

        • Ninja0980

          The problem is like many conservatives, we do want a purity test.
          And if we don’t get it, we simply stay home unlike conservatives who ALWAYS vote.

      • Justin

        Big, secular “amen” on that.

  • fuow

    Nothing like that christer love, no?

    • stuckinthewoods

      yeah, sounds like Jurden’s a cruxsucker.
      (Latin crux, cross)

  • Rebecca Gardner

    There’s that whole married on Saturday, fired from your job on Monday scenario in action.

    • KCMC

      exactly. Parochial teachers and parish workers have been fighting this locally for a couple years.

  • TampaZeke

    Worse yet, they ruled that calling him a cocksucker for YEARS and then firing him for being gay isn’t a violation of his human or civil rights in Missouri.

    Remember all of those “special rights” that the homophobes are always complaining about gay people having?

    • lymis

      I have to disagree. They didn’t rule that the situation wasn’t a violation of his rights. They ruled that it wasn’t a violation of the law.

      Without a law saying otherwise, they said their hands were essentially tied. The dissent tried to tie it to “sex”, but without explicit sexual orientation protection or a SCOTUS ruling that sexual orientation is covered by protections based on sex, this is still very much unclear as far as precedent goes.

      The state is wrong and the feds are wrong and the asshole boss is wrong, but I’m not sure the judges are.

      • clay

        I’m sure that one of the (two) judges is wrong, since he writes as though LGBT persons need special protections, rather than stating that it would equally protest straight persons.

        • Gianni

          The fact that “sexual orientation” is not a protected category in the law, it becomes obvious that a hetero employee can also be fired because of his sexual orientation. It’s just that in “normal” society, no employer would do that. Would be great if some gay employer fired a str8 employee because of his orientation and it became a national test case to force the passage of ENDA. Just dreaming.

      • TampaZeke

        That’s parsing words. Civil rights are a matter of law so if the law doesn’t protect his civil rights then he has no civil rights.

        • lymis

          I agree that it’s parsing words. And I agree that it’s mind-numbingly wrong.

          But the law, as usually dealt with by the judiciary, is very often a matter of parsing words, and that’s why we need to change the laws themselves.

          The civil rights laws enumerate classes of people who are protected from discrimination. Sexual orientation is not in the law, federally, nor in most states. That’s wrong. But as I said, the judges are supposed to be applying the Constitution and state and federal law to these cases.

    • KCMC

      Sadly, MO is an, ‘at-will,’ state and anyone can be fired without reason.
      We are to be grateful to have employment and expected to behave.

      • radiofreerome

        Expected to behave?
        Go fuck yourself!

        • KCMC

          Rare non-sarcastic moment.
          Thanks, in my wild imagination is my favorite way.

    • Gianni

      Pathetic, isn’t it?

  • LovesIrony

    PHONE
    913.956.5060 / 800.654.2354
    I guess we can call them cocksuckers cause it’s not harassment

    • LovesIrony

      they are closed until Monday but deserve a phone call from each and every one of us.

      • Hard2find

        I made mine, I hope he enjoys it

    • Necessitas

      “twatlickers”

    • hello? who is this?

      Why am I thinking Kathleen Turner/Serial Mom-ish ? hmm…

    • Mark

      Make sure you ask for him by name

      Cocksucking Executive Officer Jurden

  • cleos_mom

    Well, now we know that “volunteering at a church” is no guarantee that they don’t despise you.

    I do hope this gets appealed; my home state would richly deserve every nanosecond of bad publicity it gets.

  • Guess what? Here in Virginia telling 223 people that so and so “likes his pussy on a stick” and other bon mots and then when the unofficial prayer group prays “Lord please protect us from homosexuality and please guide the Supreme Court in banning homosexual marriage” out loud, only when so and so walks into the break room, is also, surprisingly, LEGAL. Yeah, apparently it’s their first amendment rights to be homophobic cocksuckers and christian hypocrites.

    • MDB

      Perhaps the pseudo-martyrs wouldn’t at all mind if we resorted to using similar language when we speak so nicely about their insane batshit assholery all wrapped up, real purdy, say – for Christmas ?

  • Justin

    Perhaps karma will visit him very publicly.

    • Amanda Wagner

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      os..ca…….
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      • agcons

        Flagged.

  • Macbill

    I hope all his kids become flaming gays.

  • disqus_oCvsL5SBJH

    Religion poisons everything

  • radiofreerome

    Has that snake-juggling piece of lion shit Judge James Welsh ever heard of the 14th Amendment?

  • Ninja0980

    Being LGBT isn’t a choice and yet there are no protections in many places for us in employment, housing etc.
    Religion on the other hand, IS a choice and yet there are robust protections in all 50 states for them.
    That is giving special rights to a “choice.”

    • Religion has constitutional protection written into the 1st Amendment. Anything regarding sex or sexual/emotional relationships or orientation does not. To me, the odd part is trying to square 14th Amendment protections with the religion clause in the 1st.

      • Steven Leahy

        Yes however “rights” are meant to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority, so it is quite ironic that the clear christian “majority” enjoy steadfast constitutional rights while minorities victimized by them (those for whom rights are intended and necessary) do not.

    • Gianni

      Much more than in 50 states, it’s totally protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the USA.

      • Not so. The bill of rights only prohibits government from certain actions. Cocksucking christers can do anything they like that isn’t barred by law, but then, so can anyone else (as long as they are not too brown if there are cops around, which appears to be an astonishingly fatal condition).

  • TexasBoy

    Missouri, the conservative “Show Me” state. My Grandfather ran away from his abusive Minister father there when he was 15.

  • Macbill

    Is this what they call “Christian Charity”? It’s a shame there is no god to punish Joe Jurden. “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

  • Octavio

    Good ol’ Missouri, the “You’re a cocksucker” State.

    • jmax

      I think that’s the “Show Me You’re a Cocksucker” state.

      • Gianni

        😀 Good one!

    • BobSF_94117

      Careful. You could accidentally trigger a wave of gay tourism.

  • Dot Beech

    Extremely dumb judge. On its face, the AIDS inquiry is nothing other than discrimination based on perceived disability. Appeal this fucking decision. Use the judge’s own words and the text of the law and win.

    • BobSF_94117

      There’s no protection for “perceived disability”. Presumably the plaintiff isn’t HIV+ or they would have sued under the existing protection for disability (and won).

  • goofy_joe

    How upsetting to hear, I hope that this reaches their customers and hurts their business. That’s the only language they understand.

  • Octavio

    I’m thinking there is a good chance many LGBT folks have positions in companies in Missouri where they are in charge of selecting paper products or act as buyers for their company. I only hope they are paying attention to this decision and chose another paper product supplier for their company’s needs. A 10% annual drop in sales can be an effective punishment for a small company.

    • gaymex

      I tried to find a customer list…no luck. Still looking.

      • Octavio

        Go for it, gaymex! Let’s take the bullies down!

    • Jim E.

      Rest assured Octavio. Some of do pay attention, and have earned the seniority needed to influence ethical business choices. Some of us have networks, too. Me for example. Cook Paper Recycling Company’s hollow win in their fight against fags should not be mistaken for victory.

      • NancyP

        Yep, I checked the location – other end of the state – KC. But undoubtedly some KC residents are checking, as well.

  • I think we are heading towards a situation where LGBT people are simply not going to live openly in areas they are not welcome are suffer from discrimination — either anti-discrimination protection has to be made available on the statewide or local level. This means huge swaths of red and purple states– except for urban areas that may offer protection are going to be off limits to out LGBT people. There is no way that Speaker Paul Ryan is going to let any vote in the House of Representatives come up for a vote unless a clear majority of Republican members approve it — and, even then, may block it to protect moderate Republicans from primary challenges. A House controlled by the Democratic Party — with a Democratic President and Democratic Senate would support this, but one party control of the US government is something that does not occur often. We have a long way to go on this — unless SCOTUS could step in with more justices nominated by a Democratic President. The 2016 election is crucial for protecting our rights.

  • Yikes11102

    It’s the Missouri State Legistature s*cks. In any form, straight or gay, to any person this behavior is unacceptable in the work place. There is no excuse for it. Do your job, go home and shut up in the process homophobes. You can practice your hate there.

  • TheSpinMonkey

    I would think calling any employee that would be a violation. If you cal a straight woman a cocksucker? A straight man?

    • Natty Enquirer

      A violation of what? The law against calling people names?

      • Kissmagrits

        Natty – – -Sounds like you’ve never worked in a hostile workplace controlled by bullies. I have.

        In answer your question – it’s absolutely essential that company rules of conduct keep the job site free of this parochial nonsense.
        More than that – it’s good economics.

      • TheSpinMonkey

        if you call a woman a cocksucker it can be considered sexual harassment ? right?

  • gaymex

    I noticed that in Joe Jurden’s church bulletin (Cur of Ar3
    s Church) he is listen as3(( Extraordinary Minister of Holy3

  • jomicur

    Take it to the EEOC!

  • gaymex

    Jurden is listed as a Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in his Curé of Ars Church Bulletin of June 7, 2015. I dropped an email to the pastor Msgr. Charles McGlinn ([email protected]) asking if he thought that calling someone a COCKSUCKER would meet with the approval of Jesus, especially with the Catholic Church’s reputation for pedophillia. I haven’t heard back yet.
    I’m totally not susrprised that Jurden is a catholic. I wonder if he was an alter boy and if he is carrying a grudge against some anonymous priest from his boyhood who popped his rosary?

    • TuuxKabin

      gaymex,

      thank you for the email address of msg. charles.

      i emailed him asking him to please counsel joe juden regarding ‘do/or say unto others as you would have done/or said unto you’. suggesting it just isn’t something Jesus would do or say.

      i requested a reply.

  • ColdCountry

    His boss created a hostile work environment by harassing him. What it was based on, I would think, would be immaterial.

  • Mark

    Hmmmm….. I’m not sure I believe that ‘cocksucker’ is a biblical word or phrase – no more than i believe this asshole hasn’t requested the service.

    And can you just imagine that next big All Hands employee meeting – as the guy at the front of the room is known for denigrating the attendees? Do you suppose anyone will have the guts to ask him if he enjoyed the blowjob?

  • Happy Dance

    Why should we have to call out anyone for legislature on this? It should already be common practice law. You should not be able to denigrate any fellow human being for any reason (unless it’s you sibling lol…)

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    So, basically, what they’re saying is: Gays, their Allies and their dollars are not wanted or valued in Missouri. Noted.

  • They are technically right. That’s why we NEED these kinds of laws.

  • neusuys

    turn about is fair play! then, people should stand up and call people out for their adultery, whoring, immodesty, slut calling, and oh, having bastard children out of wedlock. call them whores! have protest march, just like the blacks — ‘All Gays Matter.’ we should be writing comments, there should be another movement forthwith!

  • Jim

    I keep telling people that in 2009 and 2010 when Democrats held huge majorities in Congress, we could have got the federal ENDA bill enacted. But it didn’t happen because the “fierce advocate” of gay rights sitting on his ass in the White House couldn’t be bothered to do something for gay people other than emit empty happy talk about gay rights. If Mr. Obama had acted on his pretended convictions, James Pittman would have been protected by law. He wasn’t and isn’t because Barack Obama really didn’t give a damn about gay people or their rights or their lives or their jobs or their families. That’s the historical record.

    • sherman

      Free Republic is that way ————->

      • Jim

        Just for the record: you care what a politician says in a campaign but you don’t care what he actually does or does not do in office. Right?

        • sherman

          Just for the record, I don’t dialogue with people who can’t tell fact from fiction.

          • Jim

            So it’s fiction that Obama and the Congressional Democrats failed to enact ENDA in 2009 and 2010 when they had the votes to do so? Really? So does that mean ENDA is actually federal law but nobody realizes (you, of course, excepted)? Please tell me how that happened.

    • NancyP

      I would like to point out that the price of getting ENDA at that time would have been to throw transgender people under the bus, probably permanently. I know that this wouldn’t bother a sizable proportion of gays, but there are those of us who object to “leave the T behind” strategy.

      • Jim

        So is your view that if we can get half a loaf of bread now and get the other half later, then we should refuse any bread at all and starve to death? Think what you’re saying: instead of protecting most people under ENDA, no ENDA means that nobody gets protected so James Pittman loses his job with no legal recourse. Is that smart politics?

  • PLAINTOM

    Damn Christeaters

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Cook Paper Recycling Corporation
    6901 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Suite 116
    Overland Park, KS 66202-4004
    (913) 956-5060
    FAX (913) 948-9985

  • sherman

    I think the liberal employees of the business should start mocking it. If they walk in the breakroom and Faux News is on the TV loudly ask “Whatcha watchin’, cocksuckers?” Maybe declare that the last day of every week is “Cocksucker Friday”.

  • rabbit_ears

    Missouri, the Russia of the US.

  • guest

    oh, man. “Cocksucker” is one of my favorite swear words. I only swear at inanimate objects, squirrels and rabbits, though, not humans. I see the squirrel has dug up and eaten yet ANOTHER tulip bulb and I shout, “You cocksucker!” 😵

  • TuuxKabin

    here’s monsignor charles’ email address, where jurden volunteers. [email protected]

    i emailed, politely, asking the good monsignor to counsel his volunteer parishioner re: christian/catholic tenets.

    maybe a shit storm of emails may at least make them aware we’re watching them.

  • Excuse me, idiots in black robes, since when is blatant harassment, no matter the sexuality of victim, excused by the law?

  • Amanda Wagner

    .like Margaret answered I didn’t realize that somebody can make $25678 in 4 weeks on the web….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $83, p/h..Learn More right Here….
    os……..
    ➤➤
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    • agcons

      Get lost. Flagged.

  • BobSF_94117

    So, if the attorney decided to test their sincerity and called the judges “a bunch of cocksuckers”, I’m sure they wouldn’t have held him in contempt…