A New Jersey woman was passed over for her “dream job” as head researcher at a top gay rights group — because she wasn’t “queer” enough, she claims in a lawsuit.
Carole Smith, 62, says she went through several rounds of interviews for the research position at GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, last fall.
Smith, “a long-time fan, supporter, and former board member of GLAAD,” said she “was overjoyed by the prospect of joining the organization, egged on by a member of senior management whose words all but assured Smith the job was hers,” according to a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit.
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“All of that changed” on Nov. 30, when one interviewer — GLAAD Chief Strategy Officer Grant Schneider — asked Smith if she “considers herself queer,” which she described in court papers as a “deeply personal and inappropriate question.”
The question was meant to assess whether Smith was “too old” for the job, “given generational differences surrounding how the word is perceived and understood,” she claimed. It was also asked to see whether she was “gay enough” for the job — “both, to say the least, impermissible considerations under New York State and City anti-discrimination laws,” Smith alleged in legal papers.
The gig went instead to a woman with less senior management experience than called for in the job listing and “roughly 20 years her junior — someone who likely answered Mr. Schneider’s question differently,” Smith contended.
Losing out on the GLAAD job left her depressed and alienated, said Smith, who is seeking unspecified damages.
Neither Smith nor her lawyer would comment. GLAAD did not respond to a request for comment.