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Fired gay employee sues Library of Congress

LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Washington Blade
Saturday, August 4, 2012
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A gay man has charged in a lawsuit filed on Friday that he was fired in April from his job at the Library of Congress after being harassed and humiliated for more than a year by a supervisor who repeatedly quoted biblical passages condemning homosexuality.

Michael Key, Washington Blade

Peter TerVeer

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charges that management analyst Peter TerVeer, 30, suffered employment discrimination based on his gender, gender stereotyping and his religious beliefs in violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The lawsuit charges that his supervisor John Mech and library official Nicholas Christopher, Mech’s immediate supervisor, further violated Title VII by retaliating against TerVeer when he attempted to challenge their actions in an internal library complaint.

“Mech imposed his sex stereotypes and fundamentalist religious beliefs on homosexuality upon the plaintiff, resulting in a hostile working environment,” the lawsuit alleges.

In addition, the suit charges the library with violating TerVeer’s Fifth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection; violating an internal Library of Congress policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and religious beliefs; and violating the Library of Congress Act, a federal law that calls for the library to consider decisions related to employees “solely” on an employee’s “fitness” for his or her job duties.

Library of Congress spokesperson Gayle Osterberg didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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