A Washington State teenager was set to fulfill aspirations of being a camp counselor at a favorite campsite of his when he was abruptly told on Tuesday he was fired.
Jace Taylor, an 18-year-old from Bellingham, Washington, who came out as gay last year to his family, described the situation as matter-as-factly as possible.
“I was terminated based on my sexual orientation which was found out by social media,” he said, per reporting from Fox 4 KC.
Washington state law says that companies and businesses cannot fire an individual on the basis of their sexuality. But nonprofit and religious organizations are allowed an exemption to the law.
The Firs, the campsite that fired Taylor, explained it had no choice but to let him go based on their religious cornerstones.
“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,” Executive Director Tom Beaumont said in a statement.
Taylor was devastated by the decision. He had attended the camp as a child prior to being hired as a counselor. It was a dream come true to be able to become a counselor at The Firs.
“They made me feel loved, they made me feel accepted especially by God and Christ,” Taylor said.
Taylor further explained that he never expected to be fired from the camp over his sexuality.
“I am still in shock, this whole thing seems unreal. This can happen, I hear stories about it all over the world; never thought it could happen to me,” he said.
The Firs is a Christian-based, non-denominational camp that serves to exist “for people to encounter Jesus and experience the love of God,” according to the official website for the camp.
Furthermore, the site describes in its mission that it aims to promote marriage as “the covenantal union between one man and one woman,” and for those who cannot adhere to it to remain abstinent outside of such marriages.
Featured image via screen grab/WNDU