Here's the rub: Basically, Gordon College recently requested an exemption from federal employment laws so they could refuse to hire people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. For which they were recently denied. So, let's be clear, if you're gay, Gordon College doesn't want to hire you. Regardless of how qualified you are, regardless of what a wonderful person you may be. If you're gay, you are persona non grata. Well, this presents a problem to the City of Salem, which has Non-Discrimination Ordinance. For the layperson this means, they're not prejudicial, homophobic, bigots.
Now, here's where it gets tricky...
Gordon College has a city contract to manage a historic building in Salem, basically maintaining upkeep, etc. So, you can probably see why this is a problem for a city which has an official non-discrimination policy to allow a discriminatory college to maintain a public historic building. The solution: End the contract with Gordon College, which is the city's lawful right, and thus reinforce the city's anti-discrimination policy. Sounds simple, right?
Just as it's their right to be discriminatory bigots, it's Mayor Driscoll's right to refuse them management of a historic building. But, she's not just refusing them the contract to maintain the building. Oh no. Mayor Driscoll is doubling-down like a fucking boss.
You can imagine she's been getting quite a few phone calls from the homophobic lobby (it's a very vocal lobby, and very well-organized, mostly Glenn Beck minions). The phone calls obviously run the gamut of expressing disappointment, anger, and many have been hostile. So, Mayor Driscoll has promised to donate $5 for every homophobic moron who calls or reaches out to her office to complain. She's donating the funds to nAGLY, North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth.
I don't really care how you feel about gay rights (that's a lie, you should be supportive and not be a dick), but this is a great way to deal with archaic, fundamentalist attitudes in the 21st century. And don't you dare use the argument: "Derp, well her policy is discriminating against the college's policy of discrimination..." Seriously? That's your argument? She's discriminating against their discrimination? UGH x1000. For reals, that is all of the UGHs.
According to Boston Magazine:
Mayor Kim Driscoll ended a contract with Gordon College to manage a historic building in Salem because of the school's violation of the city's Non-Discrimination Ordinance, she started to get pummeled by national media personalities like Glenn Beck, which, in turn, led to more than 50 angry phone calls to her office from people out-of-state. And she expects even more.