The man pictured above is Stacy White, a commissioner in Hillsborough County, Florida. And he’s not a happy little homophobe because the county this week hoisted a rainbow flag to honour those who died in the Orlando gay nightclub shooting.
According to this report, White, Methodist chaplain to the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners and a Tea Party Republican. said it may be offensive to Christian employees.
In an email sent to the the county Human Relations Director Peggy Rowe, White said he received an anonymous complaint from a Christian county employee that the presence of the flag at the county centre was “nearly unbearable” for her to pass on her way to work. and that it created:
A hostile work environment.
And he called the flag:
A divisive, politically-charged symbol.
White suggested it could become “an HR problem” for the county.
Commissioners had voted 5-1 on Wednesday to hang the flag for the rest of June, which is Pride Month, after 49 people were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on Sunday.
White criticised County Administrator Mike Merrill for allowing commissioners to vote to raise the flag without telling them that some employees may have issues with it.
It is … unconscionable that the county administrator didn’t express to the board that this divisive symbol might create an uncomfortable workplace environment for many of his employees.
In a memo to commissioners Thursday, Merrill, pictured above helping raise the flag, defended himself against White’s charge, saying he was:
Not aware of any employee complaint or concern having been expressed prior to the Board’s action.
He also said the decision to raise the flag followed commission protocols.
I believe that I had no reasonable basis to believe that the Board’s action would create a hostile or uncomfortable work environment.
But the county’s HR department will investigate the complaint, he said.
In addition to raising the pride flag, the commission voted to recognise June as LGBT pride month every year and hold a candlelight vigil each year on June 12 to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting.