“Today I was fired from Walsh University in Ohio for being gay,” actor and comedian Daniel Franzese reveals in a YouTube video posted to his channel on Thursday, March 18. Franzese explains that he was hired by Walsh University to host and emcee the Mr. Walsh pageant at the private university.
Franzese details how a month ago he was approached by the university and after negotiating a contract, he was set to host the event on March 26. Franzese read an email from the director of student activities at Walsh University about his contract with the school had been canceled “based on personal beliefs of the higher administration” a week before the pageant.
Walsh University is a private Catholic university located in North Canton, Ohio with over 2,600 students, and Franzese asserts the decision to cancel his contract was due to the statement the Vatican made on Monday which says that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions.
Franzese elaborates why this decision upsets him:
“What I started thinking about was: what if this was a teacher or a student or doctor or a patient or the cook at the Walsh commissary or somebody enjoying food in the restaurant? When does it end? This is a sad example of how tax-exempt institutions are using their own beliefs and the unfair Religious Freedom Protection Act, the RFPA. It can cause a ripple effect of discrimination and bigotry to further alienate and harm LGBTQ people and our livelihoods.”
Franzese also mentions he plans to host a comedy event close to Walsh University when the pandemic is over with anyone with Walsh University student identification can get in for free and the proceeds from tickets sold to the general public to go the Trevor Project.
The full video can be watched below.
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