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Goshen College staffer comes out as lesbian, resigns library job

Library staffer Tabi Berkey posted an open letter on Facebook urging the administration to end its controversial hiring policy.

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 2:51 p.m.

GOSHEN — A member of the Goshen College staff has resigned in part because of the college’s policy against hiring people in GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning) relationships.

Tabi Berkey, who worked in the college’s library, resigned Monday, May 19, and posted an open letter on Facebook explaining her decision.

Within two hours, the post had garnered more than 100 likes and had been shared 40 times.

"After eight years of living openly as a lesbian in Goshen, I returned to the closet as a GC staffer two years ago," Berkey wrote. "I compromised my beliefs and my promise to always be true to myself because I believed in GC’s message of acceptance, and foolishly hoped I could look past the hiring policy and see only the goodness that penetrates the other areas of life at GC."

Berkey, who recently became engaged, wrote that she had been fearful someone at the college would discover her secret and decide she was unfit to work at the school.

Despite these fears, she wrote that everyone to whom she came out while at Goshen College expressed support and acceptance.

She encouraged others to share her story in hopes that it could lead to a change in the policy.

"I urge this administration to no longer closet their employees, and to bring equality to every person on campus,” she wrote. “How can you teach acceptance and love while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the people on this campus? Please, no longer pay lip service: end this discrimination.”

Editor’s note: The original version of this story said, “A member of the Goshen College staff has resigned in part because of the college’s policy against hiring people in GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning) relationships.” Berkey said the policy is one of the reasons she took another job, but isn’t the sole reason.

What do you think of the college’s hiring policy and Berkey’s decision to quit?

 




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