Reporter Fired for Private Anti-Gay Marriage Email

edgeBoston:

Reporter Fired for Private Anti-Gay Marriage Email

A reporter who blasted a gay equality group in a private email the morning after marriage parity was defeated in Maine has been fired from his job at a local newspaper.

Larry Grard, an 18-year employee at Waterville, Maine’s The Morning Sentinel, had not covered the marriage equality vote last month that saw gay and lesbian families in that state lose the right to marriage that the state legislature had approved earlier this year. However, when Grard came in to work the morning after Election Day and saw an email message from the Human Rights Campaign, a GLBT equality lobby group, saying that anti-gay animus accounted for the result, he took umbrage and fired off a note in response.

“They said the Yes-on-1 people were haters,” Grard was quoted as saying in a Dec. 7 DownEast.com article. “I’m a Christian. I take offense at that. I e-mailed them back and said basically, ’We’re not the ones doing the hating. You’re the ones doing the hating.’ I sent the same message in his face he sent in mine.”

Let’s pretend:
Reporter gets an e-mail from a Christian Yes-on-1 group celebrating the fact that traditional marriage is safe for now and fires off an angry response. So does he get fired?

I doubt it..He would be a folk hero of sorts

A folk hero? to who(m)? Probably not to his colleagues or employer.

From the context of the original post, it appears the initial email was sent to the newspaper - not to the reporter personally.

Inasmuch as the reporter is employed to report - not editorialize, his employer could argue that his responding email suggests an open bias on his part that reflects on his objectivity as a reporter and potentially compromises the newspaper's appearance of objectivity.

Now, if the initial email was from a pro-life group and a reporter responded argumentatively, she probably would be a folk hero.

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