CHICAGO (Christian Examiner) – A federal employee's 14-year tenure with the Social Security Administration may be coming to an end after he refused to obey a department directive to watch a video on inclusiveness for lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual (LGBT) customers, the Washington Post has reported.
According to the paper, David Hall, an information technology staffer at the agency's Champaign office, has refused on multiple occasions to watch the video. Hall said he knows his refusal to watch the film and "certify" his inclusiveness training may cost him his job, but he said he is ready to pay the price if accused of insubordination.
"If I have to choose between Almighty God and Social Security and the federal government, believe you me, Jesus Christ wins out," Hall told Champaign CBS affiliate WCIA.
The Social Security Administration said in a statement to the television station that the instructions to watch the video were handed down in the spring in order to help foster "an inclusive work environment, as well exemplary customer service.
"The training includes a brief session on tips for increasing cultural awareness in a diverse and inclusive environment," the statement said.
Hall, who doesn't work with customers in the office, said he requested a religious accommodation when he was told to watch the video, but his request was denied. He was also reprimanded for refusing to watch the LGBT video and was suspended for two days without pay.
"I'm not going to certify sin," Hall said. "My complaint is more with the fact that it was mandatory. We have never done that for another particular class of people. This is the only group of individuals that we've done it for. We haven't done it for veterans, the disabled, blacks, Hispanics, or anything else."
Hall said he believes the video he was and still is expected to watch is not actually a training video, but an effort to push the LGBT agenda further into the ranks of federal employees. He also said he doesn't need to watch a video to make him more "culturally aware."
"I treat a human being the same way I would want to be treated," Hall added. "I have no animosity towards anyone."
Hall is acting on his concern over the video. He has retained the services of lawyer Jason Craddock, who represented the owner of a bed and breakfast sued after refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their property. The couple won an $80,000 settlement.