Gay activist Alexander Poluyan has been effectively fired by the Belarusian subsidiary of British American Tobacco because he is gay, the Website Gayby.net reported yesterday.
Mr. Poluyan, aged 26, was employed by the company in August as a manager in the company’s department of corporate affairs in Minsk.
He told Gayby.net that the reason for his dismissal was because he was gay – a fact that he has never hidden.
“I have never concealed my sexual orientation,” he told the Website. “I did nothing wrong and I performed all my duties.
“The only explanation for why this could have happen is that my boss found out I am gay, and actively work in the LGBT community in my spare time.”
“After speaking with other employees of the company I certain of this.”
Mr. Poluyan said he was called into the office of his boss on Tuesday and was asked to resign, being told that his resignation letter had been written for him.
He pointed out that British American Tobacco operated in many countries throughout the world and had a corporate diversity policy that included sexuality.
“The company even has an internal LGBT group, so my dismissal is, in my opinion, humiliating for the company,” he told Gayby.net.
“In eight years, I have never encountered such a problem. My colleagues and friends have always known that I was gay, that I live with my boyfriend and am involved in LGBT activism.
“This case shows how bad the situation of homosexuals in a country where even members of the international companies are open about non-discrimination on any grounds, can not accept a homosexual in a team,” he said.
British American Tobacco headquarters in London were invited early this morning to comment, but at the time of posting had not responded.