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January 12, 2009


For those of you who may doubt that the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is really needed, consider the case of David Hill.

David was the Director of Human Resources for the Arte Hotel in Brentwood, Tennessee. The Arte was formerly a Holiday Inn that was bought by its current owner, Tarun Surti.

Not long after taking over the hotel, Surti fired David for no other reason than the fact that David is gay. Surti was totally unapologetic for his blatant, homophobic discrimination saying, "I don't give a damn. They can sue me. I will not have any of the gays in leadership roles in my hotel!"

When WSMV Channel 4 News reporter Katina Rankin asked assistant general manager Leonard Stoddard if he thought that David was fired solely for being gay, Stoddard said,

"I do believe that's a very fair assumption."

"Did you agree with his decision?" continued Rankin.

"I did not," said Stoddard. "It is in our employee handbook that no one should be discriminated against, harassed verbally, physically or any other means for their sexuality, their sexual orientation, gender, race or anything of that sort."

Box Turtle Bulletin, who also covered the story, reported that:

Stoddard said Hill’s termination came after Surti received a letter which listed the names of several gay staff members including Hill and Stoddard. That letter was written by a former employee who had been fired for, among other reasons, being gay, Stoddard said.

…Stoddard said Surti fired Hill and told Stoddard he would soon need to find a new employer, as well. Stoddard has worked at the hotel for 10 months. He has not been officially terminated yet, but expects to be soon.

So, it appears that Surti isn't finished firing all his gay employees yet.

What more blatant proof of homophobic discrimination does congress, or anyone else for that matter, need to get ENDA passed NOW! This kind of thing is happening throughout the country and until this bill is passed, the GLBT community has no legal recourse to stop it.

In this case however, there are a couple of things we can do. First, BOYCOTT Arte hotels. According to their own logo, they're worldwide.

Second is to express our dissatisfaction through their email contact site at:


Pass this info on to your friends and families and if you have a blog, post it there too.