A gay kindergarten teacher is suing his former school after they fired him last month.
According to Reuters, the teacher’s court case is being considered a landmark discrimination and minority protections case for the country of China.
Back in August, the teacher, who has decided to stay anonymous, was fired from his job after he posted on social media that he attended a previous LGBTQ event. He was then told directly by the school principal that he was fired because he’s gay. Apparently, the school feared that parents wouldn’t want a gay man teaching their children.
The teacher, who had a 10 percent stake in the school, was then removed from his job without sufficient severance or payment for his stake, according to his lawyer Tang Xianqian.
“The main reason we filed this case is not just as a labour dispute but to make the gay community more visible to a wider group of people. To let more people realise that they can easily be victims of discrimination,” Tang said.
The anonymous teacher doubled down on this point by saying, “I hope that I can use this case to push forward Chinese society to be more balanced and accepting.”
While it is legal to be gay in China, there are no rights to protect specifically LGBTQ people from discrimination. Instead, there are more broad anti-discrimination laws that protect “minority groups.”
Now this case could change that as it’s the first case in China, as far as Tang’s aware of, involving a gay teacher being fired because of his or her sexual orientation.
Beyond the goal of raising awareness for LGBTQ rights and anti-discrimination laws, the teacher is hoping for an outcome where he is rehired and paid for his financial loss. The court case has been picked up by a court in Quindao, so that result is now a possibility.