CommunityPam's House Blend

Fired for cohabitating

From Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the story of a holy roller rink.

The owners of a roller skating rink have fired an 18-year-old woman they called one of their “Top 10” employees because she moved in with her boyfriend, violating a company ethics policy that prohibits “live-in relationships of an intimate nature.”

“I loved my job and I didn’t want to leave,” Crystal Plotner told the Coeur d’Alene Press this week.

She said she was fired after casually telling her bosses, Skate Plaza owners Marvin and Pat Miller, that she planned to move in with her boyfriend in mid-May.

Pat Miller praised Plotner, saying that “In all the years that we’ve employed people, she was one of the Top 10. It was a sad day when she left because everybody loved her.” But Miller added, “We’ve had our (employee) handbook out for many years and it does say if you live in an immoral way with a member of the opposite sex or same sex, you will be terminated.”

Some of the other highlights of the Skate Plaza’s moral and ethics clauses:

* “We have a 4-inch rule”. (what’s that about!?)
* no petting, necking or bad language
* no public displays of promiscuous activities, homosexuality, intoxication, use of profanity, lewd behavior, use of illegal drugs, child abuse, spouse abuse, unlawful relationships, cross-dressing, stalking and nudity.

Miller was able to can Plotner because it’s not illegal to fire someone for marital status (or, as we all know, for letting someone go because of sexual orientation or gender identity). Anti-cohabitation statutes are still on the books in many places, and there are plenty of wingnuts who don’t want them rolled back. Take this clown at RenewAmerica, David N. Bass “a twenty-year-old home school graduate, a committed Christian, and a proud conservative.”

Social conservatives are so preoccupied with the battle to prevent judicial activists from reinventing the definition of marriage that they’re losing sight of a trend already wreaking untold havoc on the nuclear family — cohabitation.

Also known as “shacking up” or “playing house,” this non-matrimonial experiment has grown in the United States from the frowned-upon custom of a small minority to a socially acceptable living arrangement practiced by over ten million people. And those who remain steadfast in condemning the practice are routinely ostracized and ridiculed as hopelessly out of step with the sexual mores of our time.

A legal battle taking place in North Carolina illustrates this growing quagmire that is mixing culture, religion, and morals into a ubiquitous soup. According to the Associated Press, a North Carolina Superior Court judge in early February approved the continuation of a lawsuit challenging state General Statute § 14-184, which forbids unmarried couples from living together on penalty of a misdemeanor charge. Spearheaded by the ACLU of North Carolina, the suit was filed on behalf of a former police dispatcher, who left her position after being told by her supervisor to stop cohabiting, marry her live-in boyfriend, or find another job. The legal challenge seeks to have the cohabitation statute declared unconstitutional.

Hat tip, Paul.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding