Iowa editor gets fired over anti-'gaystapo' rant, then sues for religious discrimination

An Iowa newspaper editor who was fired after posting an anti-LGBT blog post is irate over the firing and claims that his religious freedom was violated.


Media critic Jim Romenesko reported on his blog Wednesday that Bob Eschliman, former editor of Newton Daily News, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that he was fired for being a Christian.

Eschliman -- who refers to himself on his Facebook page as an "Evil Conservative" -- is being represented by an attorney from the Liberty Institute, a Christian law practice dedicated to injecting faith into public policy and to fighting efforts by the courts to separate matters of church and state.

The former editor was fired in May after publishing an anti-LGBT rant on his personal blog, in which he railed against "the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo," claiming that LGBT people of faith are attempting to rewrite the Bible to “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.'"

"(W)e must fight back against the enemy,” he insisted.

Shaw Media, the Daily News' publisher, said that Eschliman “is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”

Eschliman's attorney, Liberty's Matthew Whitaker, said that his client is the victim of workplace discrimination.

“In America," he said, "it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”

[image of Bob Eschliman via Facebook.com]