Monday, May 05, 2014

Pasadena health director suspended after clips found of homophobic sermon

A college who uninvited screenwriter Dustin Lance Black from being its commencement speaker due to some pornographic pictures from years ago has found itself in the center of a controversy regarding its new speaker.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Pasadena city officials placed Public Health Director Eric Walsh on temporary paid administrative leave Thursday after they learned of controversial statements he had made about homosexuality and evolution in online videos and audio clips.

In sermons uploaded to various websites, Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist preacher, calls evolution "a religion created by Satan," compares Disney to a "dark empire" of superstition and witchcraft, and criticizes homosexuality.

Walsh's comments came to the city's attention after he replaced Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as Pasadena City College's commencement speaker, said city spokesman William Boyer. College officials said they replaced Black because they found stolen photographs of him and an ex-boyfriend engaged in sexual acts on Internet gossip sites, according to the school newspaper, the PCC Courier.
 . . . In a letter to the school newspaper, Black accused college administrators of attempting to shame him for his sexuality. He urged students to speak out, and soon a member of the group Students for Social Justice found some of Walsh's videos online. . . .The group compiled a list of Walsh's controversial public statements, then published excerpts on Facebook and emailed them to media outlets.

Walsh has stepped down from being the commencement speaker due to a "scheduling conflict" but already, an anti-gay site defending him on "religious liberty" grounds. However, I would remind these folks that Walsh has not been fired, but put on temporary leave in which he is still receiving a paycheck.

In lieu of his comments, an investigation at the very least is definitely in order to see if his views on the lgbt community has tainted his work. If not, then he should keep his job.

If, on the other hand, there is a problem, then it's obviously time for a new public health director.

1 comment:

Erica Cook said...

So after dropping a guy because he has a sex video that has nothing what so ever to do with his speaking at commencement, they find their plan be is a homophobic bigot. And people say Karma isn't real. I feel a little better about the world today. But I do feel badly for the kids who are graduating. What was supposed to be a day all about them is becoming one big mess with them not even being mentoned. Not a bash on you, just a fact.