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by Abigail Van Buren

Union Rep Advises Silence in Response to Harassment

DEAR ABBY: I'm at my wit's end at work. There's a woman in her early 30s here who is out of the closet, and very vocal about being a butch lesbian. I'm straight, happily married and 20 years older than she is.

Abby, she keeps hitting on me! I've told her I'm not interested and that I'm straight. She then makes comments that she has converted other women. She does this in front of others and it's mortifying. Yes, I'm old-fashioned and religious, and I do consider her sexual behavior immoral. I am also tired of feeling like I have to apologize for my religious beliefs.

I have spoken to my union rep, but was told not to create trouble for another union member. I'm sorry, but I don't like this sexual harassment. I want to go to HR about it, but I'm afraid it will start a riot in the union if she's fired over this complaint. There have been other complaints about her harassing people. Please advise. -- BEING HARASSED IN ILLINOIS

DEAR HARASSED: Your union rep is wrong. Would the person tell you to tolerate sexual harassment if your harasser was a man? The behavior you have described is against the law whether it's done by a male or female, regardless of sexual orientation.

Tell your rep you want it stopped immediately, and that if it isn't, you WILL take it to HR. Your religious beliefs do not enter into this. The woman's behavior is creating a hostile work environment.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 26-year-old minor league baseball player. I have been involved in two serious relationships. My first was a girl I became engaged to when I was 20 and in college playing baseball there. I loved her and was committed to her, but she was jealous of my "first love" -- my sport. She constantly tried in subtle ways to get me to quit. After we had a huge fight, she finally threw my ring back at me.

I stayed single for a couple of years and then met a woman and began slowly dating her. The first year our relationship was good, but over the next three years the same issues arose and I was hearing, "You're selfish." "You don't love me." "Grow up!"

Being a professional baseball player has been my dream since I was 5, and I'm not ready to give up on it yet. Both these women continue to call and text me crying because it didn't work out. I'm angry at them for not supporting me, but I also feel sad for them because all they did was love me. What do I do about them and about trusting women with my heart and dreams? -- LOVELESS IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR LOVELESS: Stop allowing those women to lay a guilt trip on you. I'm sure when you met them you made it clear that you wanted a career in baseball -- and the sacrifice that would mean for all parties concerned. Instead of wasting more time looking back, tell these women goodbye once and for all and stop responding to their calls and messages.

To be the wife of a professional athlete takes a special kind of woman, someone with a strong sense of independence because of the number and length of the inevitable separations that come with the sports business. Look around at your teammates who have successful marriages, then ask them if they know any eligible ladies. I can't guarantee you won't strike out, but I'm willing to wager that the odds of hitting a home run will be better.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)