Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on January 3, 2011
Australia – Steven Shinn has won multiple international horse trotting competitions and has been described as a living-legend in the field. But all of his accomplishments meant absolutely nothing when the company he worked for found out he was gay, and fired him on the spot.
Shinn is now filing suit against the company for unfairly dismissing him back in November of 2010.
Mr Shinn, whose nephew is Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Blake Shinn, and who is backed by top racing identities such as champion reinsman Chris Lewis, said his problems started within months of being employed in April 2008 as a senior harness racing steward.
He said RWWA chairman of stewards John Zucal had told him,”None of your colleagues want to work with you”.
“I asked one of my managers, ‘Is this a gay thing?’,” said Mr Shinn, whose case is in the Fair Work Australia tribunal and who started as a steward in 1992.
“The manager said, ‘Before you arrived here, we heard you were fired in Adelaide because your boss walked in on you naked with your boyfriend’, which was a complete lie.”
The manager did not deny the conversation occurred, but refused to comment, as did Mr Zucal.