Until last August Thomas Banks was an employee of Rapid Global Business Solutions, a company that essentially leases employees to Ford Motor Company. About that time, via Ford’s intranet, Banks received a company newsletter. The newsletter contained an article about the 20th anniversary of
Ford’s Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual Employees advocacy group (GLOBE). Banks felt compelled to express his disapproval of his fellow LGBT workers via an online comment. This is what he wrote (the original can be seen in Exhibit 2 which is included in the court filing below):
For this Ford Motor should be thoroughly ashamed. Endorsing and promoting sodomy is of benefit to no one. This topic is disruptive to the workplace and is an assault on Christians and morality, as well as antithetical to our design and our survival. Immoral sexual conduct should not be a topic for an automotive manufacturer to endorse or promote. And yes- this is historic- but not in a good way. Never in the history of mankind has a culture survived that promotes sodomy. Heterosexual behavior creates life- homosexual sexual behavior leads to death.
Apparently Ford’s human resources department conveyed a message to Bank’s employer (Rapid Global) that he was no longer welcome on the premises. Banks went to the EEOC which declined to pursue the matter. Now, nearly a year later, Banks is suing Ford and Rapid Global for religious discrimination. Banks is represented by Kelly Shackelford’s Liberty Institute in Texas. It looks like lead counsel will be Hiram Sasser whose law degree comes from Oklahoma City University School of Law. Was Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel unavailable or was he not nutty enough?
Reply briefs have not been filed. Since this guy didn’t actually work for Ford the company may claim that they have no liability. Moreover, if Banks had a legitimate beef he could have addressed it through channels and not in an open forum but that would have required some judgment on his part. My guess is that Banks and his lawyers are playing the litigation lottery whereby they believe that Ford will settle the case for a reasonable sum which is cheaper than going to court. On the other hand, Kelly Shackelford is an unhinged anti-gay wingnut so anything is possible.
One thing that I can suggest to a reasonable certainty; had Banks written anything comparable to this about Jews or Blacks there would be no question that the comment was unacceptable. When it involves gays there is still a question of propriety. We are still, in many ways, second-class citizens.