A TV news reporter in the US state of Florida has claimed he was removed as the presenter of a high-profile show because of his sexual orientation.

Charles Perez, who had a nationally syndicated talk show from 1994 to 1996, claimed ABC in Miami (WPLG) took him off the nightly bulletin and pushed him onto the weekend editions.

He was fired yesterday after filing a discrimination suit. Read the suit here.

Mr Perez, 46, claimed he was demoted “because of their discomfort over the increasingly high profile of my sexual orientation.”

The Miami Herald reports:

“Perez has hired employment lawyer Melanie Damian. He believes his reassignment was triggered by personal problems that made The Miami Herald’s Talk of Our Town column in April.

“That’s when he filed for a domestic violence protective order against his former partner, Dennis Ricardo Peña. Perez said Peña stalked him and threatened to destroy his TV career.

“Perez also alleged in court papers that Peña hacked into his personal e-mail, intercepting a “confidential and sensitive” e-mail and forwarding it to everyone in Perez’s e-mail address book.”

WPLG News Director Bill Pohovey called the claims outrageous.

“As a gay man myself, I can safely say the Station does not discriminate against gay people. Charles’ claim that the Station discriminates against gay people is untrue and offensive.”