Gay Meteorologist Sues Former Station Claiming LGBTQ Discrimination

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard
Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard
Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard (screen cap via Instagram)

A Minnesota meteorologist has filed a lawsuit against his former TV station and its parent company saying he was fired last year for being gay.

Sven Sundgaard was dismissed from his position at TV station KARE 11 in Minneapolis last May after he reposted a comment on social media from a rabbi regarding ongoing protests in the city at the time.

Minneapolis Rabbi Michael Adam Latz had written on Facebook calling some gun-toting protestors “white nationalist Nazi sympathizer gun fetishist miscreants.”

Sundgaard deleted his repost later that evening after receiving homophobic comments and threats. He also expressed his regret to the station’s executives promising to stick to the weather.

But the next day, the station announced it had decided to ‘part ways’ with the weatherman “due to continued violations of KARE 11’s news ethics and other policies,” reports the Star Tribune.

In the new lawsuit filed on Thursday, attorneys for Sundgaard say the station’s human resources department ignored the meteorologist’s reports of harassment and discrimination during his time with KARE11.

Specific instances include Sundgaard claiming a station manager criticized him for appearing on the cover of the local LGBTQ publication Lavender; being reprimanded for making a ‘size really does matter’ remark on-air during a report on Minnesota’s many lakes; and attempting to stop him from speaking at a convention of LGBTQ journalists.

He also says he felt his religious beliefs came under scrutiny when a colleague asked probing questions like whether he believed Jesus was the Messiah after he converted to Judaism in 2010.

The lawsuit claims Sundgaard “suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, pain and suffering.” He is suing for back pay as well as punitive damages.

Following the filing of the lawsuit last week, Sundgaard issued a statement which read, “I’ve been overwhelmed and forever grateful for the outpouring of support I have received over the last year.”

“I hope to continue to receive your support as I embark upon this difficult journey that will highlight the unfair treatment to which I was subjected,” he continued. “While a lawsuit is not ideal for anyone, I believe it is important to take action to prevent what happened to me from happening to others. I do this also, for the countless young people who have thanked me for being an openly gay man, making it easier for them to be true to themselves.”

He closed his statement saying, “My late mom always taught me to stick up for myself.”

KARE 11, and its parent company TENGA, denied the allegations in a statement issued via email.

“One of our core values as a station is inclusion,” wrote a KARE spokesperson on Friday afternoon. “We are committed to maintaining a respectful workplace free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

Since his dismissal, Sundgaard has been reporting the weather at Bring Me The News.

Not So Sweet: 3 LGBTQ Employees Fired From Bakery In One Month

Dessert Gallery Bakery and Cafe
Dessert Gallery Bakery and Cafe
Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe (image via Instagram)

Two separate lawsuits alleging anti-LGBTQ discrimination and harassment have been filed against Dessert Gallery Bakery in Houston, Texas.

According to the filings in federal court, Gilbert Johnson, a gay man, and Katherine Phillips, a lesbian woman, say they were terminated based on their sexual orientation.

But last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Attorney and LGBTQ activist Fran Watson, representing both Johnson and Phillips, cited the Bostock decision in her lawsuits.

Johnson, who had worked at the bakery as a general manager, says he began to be treated differently by his supervisor after being on the receiving end of ‘sexualized commentary’ from his supervisor’s husband.

Among his responsibilities was hiring new employees. But according to OutSmart Magazine, Johnson alleges that when his supervisor discovered he had hired a transgender woman, he was no longer allowed to hire employees.

Johnson added that he was “bombarded” with questions regarding the trans employee accessing the restroom.

(image via Instagram/DessertGalleryBakery)

Phillips, who was fired just a day after Johnson, says that she was harassed about her sexuality by co-workers about her sexuality and that eventually had a negative impact on upward mobility within the company.

At one point, Johnson promoted Phillips to shift leader, but just one month later she was demoted. A month after that, she was fired. The next day, Johnson was fired.

But wait – there’s more!

The court filing also says the trans woman was fired shortly after Johnson and Phillips.

“Even the best companies make mistakes, and the bias has to be minimized because you’re impacting and interacting with a diverse workforce,” Watson told OutSmart. “Seeing that three LGBTQ people were fired in a month—and two within a day of each other—shows that inherent bias was present. We want the law to remedy that mistake.”

Dessert Gallery has issued a statement about the dual lawsuits saying they have “always been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and our community.”

“We have a long history of celebrating Pride and partnering with, as well as supporting, Houston’s LGBTQIA+ community,” continued the statement. “We take seriously any allegations like those outlined in these complaints but stand firm that these allegations are simply not true.”

The bakery closed by saying, “We believe the proper place to disclose the facts of this case is in the courtroom and look forward to that opportunity.”

Cohen Apologizes To Stormy Daniels For ‘Needless Pain’

Porn star Stormy Daniels and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
Porn star Stormy Daniels and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
L-R Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen

For the first time, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen speaks with porn star Stormy Daniels in an hourlong chat on Cohen’s podcast, Mea Culpa.

Via HuffPost:

Seeking to bury the hatchet, Cohen interviews Daniels in the latest episode of his podcast, “Mea Culpa,” in which the two commiserate over life-altering experiences with Trump and his recent departure from office.

Cohen, in keeping with the title of his program, apologizes for “the needless pain” he put Daniels through when he arranged a $130,000 payment during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep her quiet about an alleged dalliance with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair.

“Both of our stories will be forever linked with Donald Trump, but also with one another,” Cohen tells her. “Thanks for giving me a second chance.”

Also in the podcast chat, Daniels refers to the 2008 sexual encounter with Trump “the worst 90 seconds of my life, for sure, because it just made me hate myself.”

She shares that she hadn’t planned on having sex with the Donald. At one point in the tryst she apparently pondered how to escape the room, thinking “I could definitely outrun him.”

Cohen has been recording the podcast from his living room in Manhattan since being released from prison last summer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health concerns in crowded prisons, he’s being allowed to serve out the rest of his sentence at home.

 

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Podcast: Sexual Battery In Football Locker Room; New Drug Approved For PrEP; Man Says He’s Gay Because iPhone

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Allegations of sexual battery have led to the cancellation of a California high school’s football season

• A federal judge has struck down Tampa Florida’s ban on so-called conversion therapy

• The FDA has approved a second drug to be prescribed for PrEP

• A Russian man is suing Apple for $15k because his iPhone made him gay?

• And a Tennessee teen honored as part of his school’s homecoming royalty, graciously accepted in a sequin gown

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Man Sues Apple Claiming His iPhone Made Him Gay

A Russian man claims an app he downloaded to his iPhone coerced him into being gay.

A Russian man is suing Apple for more than $15,000 because an app he downloaded to his iPhone ‘manipulatively’ coerced him into being gay, according to the Moscow Times.

The man, identified in the lawsuit as D. Razumilov, claims in his lawsuit that he became “mired in same-sex relationships” after someone sent him 69 GayCoins (a form of cryptocurrency) via an app he downloaded to his iPhone in 2017.

No, it wasn’t Grindr. And it wasn’t Scruff, either.

Whatever those are…

Included with the cryptocurrency, which would be worth about $1.40, was a message which Razumilov says read, “Don’t judge without trying.”

“I thought, indeed, how can I judge something without trying?” wrote in his complaint.

So, Razmuliov says he “decided to try same-sex relationships.”

Next thing you know, he says he’s hooked on the gay.

“I can say after the passage of two months that I’m mired in intimacy with a member of my own sex and can’t get out,” reads Razumiolov’s complaint. “I have a steady boyfriend and I don’t know how to explain it to my parents.”

“After receiving the aforementioned message, my life has changed for the worse and will never be normal again,” he adds.

The lawsuit, registered in Moscow’s Presnensky District Court last Wednesday, blames Apple for “manipulatively pushing me toward homosexuality.”

The result of his same-sex relationship is “moral suffering and harm to mental health” for which he is asking 1 million rubles (approximately $15,331 with today’s exchange rate).

Razumilov is scheduled to appear in court on October 17.

(source: Moscow Times – image via Depositphotos)