Employee with NY state education agency says he was fired for refusing to attend LGBT training

Says training conflicts with his religion
Posted at 3:25 PM, Jun 05, 2018

An employee of a New York state education agency says he was fired for refusing to attend mandatory training on LGBTQ issues.

Raymond Zdunski of Ashville, New York worked for the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) for seven years. He says he was terminated from his position as senior account clerk last week for insubordination. Zdunski, who is a deacon at Fluvanna Community Church in Jamestown, says he was an exemplary employee with a spotless record.

"I feel this training goes against the teachings of the Bible," Zdunski said. "To accept these teachings is to accept sin. God taught us not to accept sin."

According to Zdunski, the training was initiated because a person in BOCES is going through the transition process. Zdunski says the training, as explained to him, covered LGBTQ history, culture and the use of appropriate terminology. 

Zdunski says he has been in contact with Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit conservative Christian legal organization that, according to its website, "advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith."

Brian Liebenow, the executive director of labor relations and general counsel for Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, issued the statement below to Scripps station WKBW in Buffalo. 

"Please be advised that it is Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES' policy to not comment on personnel matters. Accordingly, we do not have a comment or statement to offer at this time."