Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Outing a Bigot at UAB

We have written posts here and here about the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) employee who used state equipment to send a hate-filled e-mail to a California gay-rights group.

Now we can finally identify the sender. Her name is Pamala Gibson, and she works as an office associate in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UAB.

Matthew Keys, a reporter with Fox 40 KTXL TV in Sacramento, outed Gibson in a recent story.

Sean Hetherington, a Sacramento native now living in West Hollywood, received the e-mail from Gibson. The e-mail was sent in response to Day Without a Gay, a grassroots protest of California Proposition 8, which eliminated same-sex marriage rights when it passed in the November election.

Hetherington and his partner organized Day Without a Gay, asking supporters to call in sick for work and not purchase anything for one day.

Gibson made it clear in her e-mail that she is not a supporter:

"You freaks make me sick," the e-mail read. "You are the scourge of the earth and are responsible for everything that's wrong in this sorry world because of the immorality you have brought on this world as a whole."

Said Hetherington: "We were baffled that an educator could be so anti-gay."

According to Keys, Gibson did not seem anxious to discuss her missive:

We tried to contact Gibson via a phone number found on the university's website. Gibson answered the phone, but hung up after we identified ourselves as FOX40 News. Subsequent attempts to contact Gibson thereafter failed, and a message left on her phone mail system went unanswered.

UAB seems to be doing its best duck-and-cover routine in the wake of Gibson's e-mail. Reports Keys:

While Gibson's speech would be protected under her First Amendment right under the US Constitution, it's not protected by her employer.
In an e-mail obtained by FOX40 News from a University of California, Davis activist, Alesia Jones, the Interim Chief Human Resources Officer at the University of Alabama said the university is aware of the e-mail sent from their school.

"[The University of Alabama at Birmingham] strives to create and maintain an environment that (sic) all of our employees feel valued," the e-mail read. "We are looking into this matter and will address according to our internal policies."

That's more of a response than Hetherington received. "I left a message and asked for a phone call to explain the university's acceptable-use policy," Hetherington said. "Nobody has contacted me. Nobody returned my phone call."


Anonymous said...

A quick note from your neighbors to the west: http://www.knowyourcourts.com.

Anonymous said...

It's OK for christians to be bigots.

They have gawd on their side.