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Gay Comcast Executive Files LGBT Discrimination Lawsuit Against Media Giant

A gay Comcast executive who’s the telecommunications company’s LGBTQ liaison filed a 45-page federal lawsuit filed last week, claiming that he has “been subjected to discriminatory conduct” because he doesn’t conform to “traditional sex and/or gender based stereotypes.”

Klayton Fennell is Comcast Corp.’s senior vice president of government affairs and the company’s highest-ranking openly gay employees. Fennell also serves as the company’s key contact with LGBT advocacy organizations.

In the lawsuit Fennell atets that he was denied promotions by his bosses who told him “on more than one occasion, in essence, that his sexual orientation and manner was the reason he was not promoted.” Also that on more than one occasion he had been called a “faggot” and “high-pitched,” and sent to an “executive coach” when he was told he was “too gay and too flamboyant” for the company’s “conservative” culture.

Fennell complained about the discriminatory conduct, but Comcast failed to investigate the allegations and the company “allowed the hostile environment to persist.” He then filed a complaint of discrimination with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which resulted in further retaliation against him, he says.

Since he started working for Comcast in 2001, the company wanted to present him as “an example of their non-discriminatory or ‘inclusive’ environment in an effort to bolster their public image and further their business as a media company,” Fennell alleges in the suit. But senior executives have consistently subjected him to discriminatory treatment because of his sexuality, he claims.

Comcast denies the discrimination claims.

Fennel is seeking unspecified damages, including back-pay, front-pay, compensatory damages and lawyer fees, according to the suit.

Comcast is rated 100% by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and is a donor to many LGBT organization including the NLGJA : The Association of LGBTQ Journalist.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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