LUBBOCK, Texas – Homosexual advocates are outraged that a Christian children’s ministry in Texas fired an employee after he introduced his boyfriend to a group of children under his care.
Children’s Home of Lubbock is a non-profit west Texas ministry founded in 1954 and sponsored by Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock. According to the church’s website, the children’s home is committed to bringing “hope, healing, a sense of worth and value to the lives of fatherless, abused, and neglected children.”
“In spite of the negative behavioral responses, every child, and family of origin will be treated with dignity and compassion of Christ,” the church’s website says. “This ministry brings those of differing gifts together to be the hands, feet, arms, tears and heart of God to defend the cause of the fatherless and at-risk families.”
However, the Christian children’s home became the subject of controversy this month when Casey Stegall, a 22-year-old male college student, was fired from the ministry. Stegall, who had worked at the home as a child caregiver for 14 months, describes himself as a “gay Christian.”
“My fiancé and I have been together for 3 years, and we have never once showed any display of public affection towards each other,” Stegall wrote in a blog post published on Friday by the pro-homosexual website Believe Out Loud. “Living in a very conservative town, we knew the risk we were taking as a couple.”
However, Stegall’s employment at the children’s home came to an end earlier this month after he invited his male “fiancé” to meet a group of teenage boys under his care. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Stegall used a planned day trip out of the children’s home as an opportunity to introduce his homosexual partner to the youth.
Lynn Harms, president of the children’s home, swiftly dismissed Stegall from the organization, informing him that his homosexual conduct was unwelcome in the Christian children’s ministry.
“As a faith-based, church-related outreach providing welfare services, if you will, to children and families, there is a set of biblical values that we adhere to and live by,” Harms said, according to the Avalanche-Journal. “When you are implementing life training and so forth—particularly with children—to put a confused message out there is counterproductive.”
Stegall was stunned by the ministry’s decision, claiming it was unfair and discriminatory for the Christian organization to terminate his employment.
“I got fired just for me being who I am,” he complained.
Since Stegall was fired on July 11, he has tried to find lawyers to represent him in court and help him file a lawsuit against the children’s home. So far, he has been unsuccessful.
“I still can’t believe that in the year 2014, discrimination is still prevalent and affecting so many LGBTQ people across this country,” Stegall wrote. “Discrimination is wrong, and it needs to stop.”
However, Harms stands by the children’s home actions, explaining that Stegall was fired because he was “presenting a lifestyle that is damaging to kids.”
“If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well,” he asserted. “I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”
According to Texas law, organizations are free to terminate someone’s employment on the basis of sexual behavior. As a result, several commended the Christian ministry’s decision.
“[Stegall] knew it was a Christian faith based organization, so why did he even bother to apply for a job there?” one commenter asked. “Homosexual man trying to impose his deviant lifestyle on children—I would say that is a good reason to fire him.”
Photo: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal