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Iowa

Clerk says he was chastised for ‘feminine behavior,’ fired because he’s gay

Monday, February 24, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa man is suing a convenience store chain he claims fired him because he’s gay, and alleges in court documents that he was chastised by his former boss for “feminine behavior.”

The Des  Moines RegisterWayne Shimer

The Des Moines Register
Wayne Shimer

Wayne Shimer, 22, a resident of West Des Moines, said he was fired from Casey’s General Stores after he claimed he asked for permission to have his husband be able to visit him at the convenience store where he worked, reported The Des Moines Register.

According to the lawsuit filed earlier this month in Polk County District Court, Shimer alleged that other store employees were routinely allowed visitations by spouses or their partners, while he was denied that privilege solely because he was in a same-sex relationship.

In a statement to the Register, Shimer said the treatment he faced working at the convenience store left him wanting “fair and equal treatment in the workplace for all Iowans.”

Shimer’s lawsuit alleges a pattern of bigoted comments and discrimination against him by his supervisor, said his attorney, Andrew LeGrant.

“In this day and age, discrimination in the workplace is simply unacceptable,” Shimer said in a written statement. “I would like to see employers take more pride in their employees and work to prevent and stop discrimination in the workplace altogether.”

After he was fired, Shimer filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the state agency that first hears allegations of discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

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The commission issued a right-to-sue letter Feb. 7, allowing him to take the case to court.

Christopher Clark, a senior staff attorney with LGBT rights advocacy group Lambda Legal, noted Friday that if Iowa hadn’t added sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination laws in 2007, it would be difficult for Shimer’s lawsuit to proceed through the courts, he said.

“It is my hope that this civil action will open the eyes of employers and the community and serve as a reminder that sexual orientation and who we love should not disqualify anyone from employment,” said Shimer.

Casey’s General Stores, Inc. is a chain of convenience stores in the Midwestern United States.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. YOU are WHO YOU ARE,,, NEVER LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN !

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:21pm
  2. I was fired from a job after being told by the owners i couldn’t talk about my significant other at the time, though heterosexuals were allowed to speak about their significant others. Happens a lot.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:21pm
  3. nothing but unlawful hypocrisy. Hopefully they can experience backlash for what they've unconstitutionally done.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:22pm
  4. Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:22pm
  5. I beleive him,I was banned from a 7-11 of all places right down the street from my house,I suspect for that very same reasom,though I cant prove it,makes it inconvenient sometimes,but now I just know it was the manager who is a homophobic a hole.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:22pm
  6. I bet an anonymous tip to OSHA about workplace safety laws at these locations would turn up a few fines. Do they sell food? Cigarettes to minors? Sometimes skip checking ID on booze? If the government is going to protect you from harm, and you choose to get some revenge, there are ways. Just be smart, stay anonymous, and be totally honest but ruthless.

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:26pm
  7. I own that shirt

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:22pm
  8. closed minded folks are weak minded folks.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:22pm
  9. Boycotting is not enough. We must unite and demand a new venue for next season’s Super Bowl. If the NFL wants to show they welcome diversity and that intolerance and bigotry will not be tolerated they must relocate the Super Bowl out of Arizona.

    Please sign & SHARE
    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/move-the-super-bowl-out

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:24pm
  10. I consider it a compliment that others might see some feminine in me. It’s called being a well rounded person.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:25pm
  11. Kyle Maz…i put their business name out into the gay community in the area. Also, I told them they couldn’t legally discriminate against me for my sexual orientation. Their response, and I quote “When did that happen?”.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:25pm
  12. Appalling. I honestly don’t understand why so many straights are scared of “the gay”. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 30 years and the 50% divorce rate is a lot scarier than gay people marrying the person they love (which isn’t scary at all).

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:26pm
  13. He deserved to be treated the same as all the other employees and I hope he wins his lawsuit!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:29pm
  14. DON’T change because someone wants you to be different. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:30pm
  15. I was fired after saying , “I as a gay man could never in good conscious vote for a republican…..not only fired but then arrested…….Furthermore my partner and I raised to sons and during their childhood had a priest from the Catholic church dump garbage all over our front porch and cars…..all in his SICK perverse interpretation of God…….RELIGIONS DO NOT OWN GOD…God is perfect love nothing less, dont let hate keep you down or from a personal relationship with the Divine…….A perfect God does not make mistakes, sanction inequality, or support hate in any form . LOVE ALWAYS!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:32pm
  16. I hope he wins the lawsuit!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:32pm
  17. Good luck Wayne!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:34pm
  18. 22 is too young to be getting married.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:35pm
  19. Sucks

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:35pm
  20. Never change who you are. I hope you sue them for every penny. Bigots need to stop living by that Pick-n-Choose religion.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:40pm
  21. I smell a Law Suit..

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:41pm
  22. wow that is crazy!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:41pm
  23. Don’t ask permission…just do it! Never ASK to be yourself!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:43pm
  24. Go kick butt! You have all your brothers and sisters behind you ♥

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:43pm
  25. Sue their asses!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:44pm
  26. He is a bloody mensch ! I bet he was a great empolyee too.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:46pm
  27. I have lived in Iowa for 27 years and have seldom experienced homophobia. In fact my boyfriend and I work together in a factory as a highly visible gay couple. We work in the Quality dept. but we are always on the production floor.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:50pm
  28. Take pride in who you are and who you love. The action you take is about your personal experience, but it’s also for the many who endure discrimination. Your courage is one of the many steps toward changing the world.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:52pm
  29. Still with this Crap?! People are gay,how the hell does this affect those who aren’t gay? Or anyone at all for that matter.Is your houses foundation going to crumble because a gay employed person is living near you? This is getting so old and boring,change the track and listen to another song already.Start worrying about things trust actually affect YOUR life.Stop hating people for who they are and start accepting the PERSON everyone is inside. Goddamit

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:53pm
  30. I think there os more to this story. I’ve read a lot of hoax’s lately…Something smells fishy

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:56pm
  31. Sue the assholes!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:58pm
  32. Feminine behavior? Was he menstruatingovulatinggiving birth?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:59pm
  33. What the hell. Get out of Iowa dude

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:04am
  34. I’m sorry you were persecuted.. this just can not and should not be tolerated any where.. good luck with your lawsuit

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:17am
  35. I hope you win. Teach them a lesson.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:25am
  36. If they want to be closed minded, then they should make their mouths match their minds and shut them.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:27am
  37. It doesn’t take much to upset Iowa. Best of luck in court.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:27am
  38. He shouldn’t have been giving blow jobs in the store bathroom during work hours. Only Bill Clinton is allowed to do that and get away with it.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:32am
  39. So what if he’s feminine acting! Good for him! Stop pigeonholing people!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:33am
  40. Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:34am
  41. Hmm. Wow. By the way he’s so CUTE ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:36am
  42. SUE for discrimination ..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:38am
  43. I’ve been fired (over the phone) because my voice was “unnatural” and squeaky.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:40am
  44. Why would he need ‘permission’ to have his husband visit him at work? A store is a public place, no one should need permission to go there.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:47am
  45. Stop talking and take action, only way we will win…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:50am
  46. Some people find feministic behavior offensive…i mean is it possible he could have toned it down…?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:53am
  47. you are who they hired. f them. your better off

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:54am
  48. Sue the crap out of them sweetheart then go SHOPPING!!!!! XO good luck and an entire community supports you sweetheart!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12:54am
  49. Lawyer up!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:06am
  50. Damn, is it contagious?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:07am
  51. Sue the hell out of them!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:08am
  52. We should boycott that store.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:13am