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Judge sides with Petaluma firm accused of anti-gay discrimination

A Sonoma County judge on Tuesday sustained legal challenges to a lawsuit filed by a Cloverdale woman who says her employer discriminated against her because she is a lesbian.

The tentative ruling stems from a lawsuit filed last year by Ginny White against Petaluma based GC Micro. White said the company recruited her from a Colorado job, forced her to watch a religious video featuring an anti-gay preacher and then fired her when she complained.

White named Belinda Guadarrama, chief executive officer of the women-run firm, and her ex-husband, Lloyd Chapman, as defendants.

She accused Chapman of making derogatory remarks about her sexual orientation and discussing his own sex life with her. She said he made her watch a video by an Atlanta-based evangelical minister, Charles Stanley, who believes "homosexuals are sinners," according to court documents.

But Judge Arthur Wick sided with the company, finding that the two defendants, Guaderrama and Chapman, could not be liable for discrimination and that there was no basis for claims of harassment.

However, Wick said White may sue on the grounds GC Micro committed fraud for allegedly failing to follow through on employment promises.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.


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