A teacher in Florida was fired from his position at a school run by an Adventist organization for being gay.
Steven Arauz was dismissed from his $49,000-a-year role as a sixth-grade teacher at Forest Lake Education Center (FLEC) in Longwood, central Florida, on June 23 shortly after featuring in an article published by online news site Gays With Kids.
Arauz, who has an adopted son, told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper he had hoped the interview would lead to more children in Florida’s foster care system finding loving family homes.
“The irony is that, as Christians, we like to say, ‘Everyone belongs. Come as you are and follow Jesus,'” he added. “But then if they find something they don’t agree with, you’re thrown out.”
Arauz went on to detail how the superintendent of schools for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists had contacted him via email following the publication of the Gays With Kids article, noting the piece had identified him as a “gay father” who was dating another man.
In the email, which Arauz shared with the Orlando Sentinel, Frank Runnels wrote: “You are aware that this conduct, if true, does not comport with the Seventh-day Adventist church’s standards and the education program at FLEC.”