'I wanted to bawl my eyes out,’ says teen camp counselor fired for being gay


Teen camp counselor fired for being gay

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (KCPQ/CNN) - A Washington teen is upset after being fired from a job as a Christian camp counselor because he’s gay.

Jace Taylor said he wasn’t comfortable in his own skin at first.

“For a very long time I was struggling with it,” Taylor said.

Then last year he finally came out with the support of his family.

But now he said another kind of family turned their backs on him because of his sexuality.

"I was terminated based on my sexual orientation which was found out over social media," Taylor said.

“Yeah he told me that ‘we don’t support homosexuality’ and 'it’s against the Bible,’” he said.

Last month Taylor said he was hired by The Firs to be a FirCreek Camp counselor starting this weekend.

“At first I wanted to bawl my eyes out because all of my life I’ve wanted to work as a FirCreek Camp counselor and make an impact in their lives like they did when I was younger,” said Taylor.

Taylor said The Firs, a Christian non-profit organization, had a big impact in his life growing up.

“They made me feel loved, they made me feel accepted especially by God and Christ,” Taylor said.

And now he said he feels betrayed by people who knew him well.

Those peopIe include the manager who let him go.

“He had a really hard time saying it,” Taylor said. “I could tell he was struggling with it. He’s a really good family friend with us. He basically watched me grow up to this point.”

The non-denominational Christian organization confirmed that it was Taylor’s sexuality that ended his employment opportunity.

The Firs executive director said that it’s critical to the organization that they hire people who also live by the doctrine they preach.

“When it became evident in the application process that he did not personally align with our statements of faith (in particular, one regarding sexuality) we determined we could not use him in his role,” The Firs said in a statement.

“Our quandary was this, in order to be consistent to our beliefs and our mission, we felt compelled to pass on someone we truly liked in filling this counselor role. I sincerely wish this was otherwise. I know this may be confusing and contrary to others’ beliefs.”

Under state law, an employer cannot discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation.

But, according to legal experts, non-profit religious organizations are technically exempt from that law.

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