The City of Greensboro appears to be bringing back the old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy with a twist.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the official policy of the US military for non-heterosexual military personnel during the Clinton administration.
The twist is that Greensboro’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is for heterosexual employees.
Just like the Clinton-era policy, Greensboro doesn’t object to people being heterosexual, as long as they don’t talk about it.
Greensboro Fire Captain Dustin Jones violated that policy on his personal Facebook page and reports are that earlier this month he was fired on the spot. Jones is a decorated firefighter and had 16 years in the department.
Reportedly, there were no complaints about his work. Jones, in a Facebook video, states that he was fired mainly because he posted a meme on his personal Facebook page that has a photo of a female bride and a male groom.Above the photo is the title “Straight Pride,” and below the photo it says, “it’s Natural, it’s worked for Thousands of years” and, in bold, “And you Can Make Babies.”
Judging from the actions of the Fire Department, it is not a problem that Jones is straight, but just like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he isn’t supposed to talk about it, and certainly not indicate that he has pride in being straight with a humorous meme.
By contrast, the Greensboro City Council passed a resolution in December 2022 recognizing June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) History Month,” and while that is the official title, the city calls June “Pride” month. The City of Greensboro has posted a video on the city website where the narrator states, “This month we are celebrating pride, and what better place to celebrate than in front of and in the Guilford Green Foundation and the LGBTQ Center.”
So, the City of Greensboro celebrates “pride” for the LGBTQ community, but because Jones indicated that he was proud to be straight on his personal Facebook page, his employment was terminated. Jones wasn’t disciplined. He wasn’t asked to take his Facebook post down or even counseled on why being proud of being straight was objectionable. According to what Jones said, he was fired on the spot.
Jones has a groundswell of support from the community and has said he will appeal his termination.
“Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” didn’t work for the military and it is unlikely that the City of Greensboro’s twisted version of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will work much better.
Even City of Greensboro employees have First Amendment rights, which is something the Greensboro City Council might want to consider, regardless of how much they disagree with an employee who has the audacity to imply that he is proud to be straight.