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Daniel Franzese Says He Was Fired from Walsh U Gig For Being Gay

Daniel Franzese calling out homophobia at Welsh University

According to him, the firing was a direct result of the Vatican's recent statements.

Actor and comedian Daniel Franzese has taken to YouTube to level accusations of homophobia at the Ohio-based Walsh University. According to Franzese, who came to prominence through appearances in Mean Girls, the University let him go from an upcoming gig for being gay following recent statements from the Vatican on same-sex marriage.

"I come to you still reeling from the horrific terrorist attack that killed eight Asian women in Georgia which has inspired me to share this experience because I truly believe that it is the microaggressions and injustices against minorities that cause hate crimes like Pulse Orlando and the horrific events of the other day," he said at the beginning of a YouTube video titled "I was fired today for being gay."

According to Franzese, representatives for the University reached out to him to hire him as host and emcee for their upcoming Mr Walsh Pageant. Franzese made clear in the video that he was approached, and did not reach out first. The details of the deal were finalized by February 18. According to him, one day after the Vatican released its statement saying that it could not bless same-sex unions as it could not recognize and endorse sin, the Roman Catholic university called it all off.

"'I'm following up via email from my conversation with Gary,' that's my manager," Franzese says in the clip. "Regarding how the institution has decided to no longer approve the contract for Daniel. I'm incredibly disappointed and sincerely apologetic, for this is, I know, unprofessional and clearly biased on personal beliefs of the the higher administration. Please give Danny my sincerest apologies.'" According to Franzese, this message came from the director of student activities.

"Mr. Daniel Franzese has neither been employed nor under contract for any services in any form at any time with Walsh University," Walsh University told Out in a statement when reached via email. "The email he cites from Director of Student Activities and Leadership Anna Borges reflects her personal views." The University did confirm that they were in discussion with Franzese about hosting the annual pageant.

"I realize that I'm privileged and that I have this audience of followers that I could share this experience with, " Franzese said. "But what I started thinking about was what if this was a teacher or a student or a doctor or a patient, or a cook at the Welsh commissary, or someone enjoying food in the Welsh restaurant? When does it end? This is a sad example of how tax-exempt institutions are using their own beliefs and the unfair Religious Freedom Protection Act, the RFPA. And it can cause a ripple effect of discrimination and bigotry to further alienate LGBTQ people and our livelihoods."

The actor went further, saying that when the pandemic restrictions lift he would return to Ohio and host a comedy benefit for the Trevor Project at the gay club nearest to Welsh. Any person with a Welsh University ID would be allowed to attend for free.

"To the LGBTQ students at Welsh, because I know you're there, I'm so sorry I can't be there with you," he continued. "I imagine that you're feeling frustrated and isolated right now but you must know that God knows everything about you and he loves you just as you are. No Vatican statement can change that, no university action can change that, nothing can separate us from the love of God and Jesus Christ."

RELATED | How Daniel Franzese Hit the 'Gay Glass Ceiling' After Mean Girls

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