By most accounts, Peter TerVeer was a model employee at the Library of Congress. An auditing analyst in the inspector general’s office, TerVeer received high marks on performance reviews, and in spring 2009, after working there about a year, appeared to be on track for a rewarding career in the federal ladder.
Until, he says, he came out to his superiors.
In an affidavit filed with a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, TerVeer, who was fired last Friday, said that once his supervisor learned he was gay, the library became a hostile place to work.
TerVeer, 30, was first hired on a contract basis in February 2008, according to his affidavit and documents he provided to DCist and other media. Eight months later, he was brought on full-time. TerVeer and his supervisor, John Mech, occasionally bickered about politics and religion but, TerVeer wrote in his affidavit, the relationship was mostly genial. Mech espoused conservative political and religious views in intra-office emails with TerVeer and other coworkers—“So you are to the right of God, are ya?” TerVeer and Mech’s department head, Nicholas Christopher, joked in a March 2009 message.
Gayle Osterberg, a spokeswoman for the Library of Congress, said neither the agency nor any of its employees would comment on an ongoing personnel matter. As a federal civilian organization, the library is required to follow Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin,” but not sexuality. However, the Library of Congress’ internal policies protect employees against harassment on the basis of sexual identity.
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See Also: Video: “Gay Man Says Library of Congress Supervisor Disparaged Homosexuality” (via WTTG)