Friday, July 25, 2014

Editor Fired For Anti-Gay Blog Post Files EEOC Religious Discrimination Claim

Yesterday, a complaint (full text) was filed with the EEOC by Bob Eschliman, former editor of the Newton (IA) Daily News.  As reported by the Des Moines Register, Eschliman was suspended and then fired by his newspaper's publisher after complaints that a posting on Eschliman's personal blog cast doubt on his ability to fairly cover issues involving gays.  The posting criticized a website-- the Queen James Bible-- that advertises a version of the Bible that edits verses relating to homosexuality to eliminate homophobic interpretations.  Eschliman, a member of the Christian Reformed Church, in his post mockingly said that "the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo" are attempting "to make their sinful nature right with God." Eschliman's EEOC complaint says that his post reflected his sincerely held religious beliefs, and contends:
There is no question that I was fired for holding and talking about my sincerely held religious beliefs on my personal blog during my off-duty time.... I would like to have obtained a religious accommodation for my sincerely held religious belief to share my Biblical view with the few family members and friends who read my blog. Shaw Media directly discriminated against me because of my religious beliefs and my identity as an evangelical Christian who believes in Holy Scripture and the Biblical view of marriage. Moreover, Shaw Media announced that... they would not hire or allow anyone to work at Shaw Media who holds religious beliefs similar to mine....