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05/02/2006

Ruling: 'moness not acceptable criteria for judging prisoner's musical leadership abilities

by Jeremy Hooper

   Upholding a 2004 ruling, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that prison supervisors at London, Ohio's Madison Correctional Institute had every right to discipline the institute's then-chaplain, the Rev. William Akridge, for disallowing a gay inmate from leading choir at a religious service. The court ruled that since Akridge's gay-unfriendly refusal was made as part of his chaplain duties and not while he was a mere private citizen, his actions were not protected by the First Amendment.

So to clarify:
"Ugh, that particular 'American Idol' contestant seems so fruity; change the channel, son" -- gross, but protected speech
"Yea, uhm...your proclivity for your own gender disqualifies you for a role that I'm appointing as part of this, my job. -- not so much

The AP reports that Akridge stated in court documents his belief that "homosexual behavior is immoral, sinful, perverse and contrary to the teachings of the Bible and the Christian faith." Shocking, as we simply thought he was concerned the gay inmate's flair for drama might make the group's vocal performance too campy. Now we're pissed!

Court allows discipline for discrimination against gay inmate [AP via Ohio.com]

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