By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
A North Carolina corporate trainer who lost at least two contracts when businesses found out he was opposed to same-sex marriage is now being vindicated after the corporations were challenged by the National Organization for Marriage. NOM’s Corporate Fairness Project announced last week that both Bank of America and Cisco Corporation have promised they will no longer discriminate against employees or vendors for expressing their beliefs.
Corporate consultant Frank Turek, a senior partner of the Austin Group, is also a Christian apologist and author and president of CrossExamined.org. His books include “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist,” “Legislating Morality,” and “Correct, Not Politically Correct; How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone.” Having worked with more than two dozen corporations via the Austin Group, Turek is known for his high-impact and inspirational training. But when Cisco found out, via an employee’s Google search, that he held conservative Judeo-Christian beliefs about marriage, they immediately axed him as a vendor despite the fact that he had never expressed those beliefs on the job. Bank of America quickly followed suit.
NOM questioned both companies’ actions and eventually got results.
“… We wrote to the board of each company raising our concern and asking if company policy really permits otherwise qualified employees and vendors to be punished for speaking out on a public issue like same-sex marriage,” said Jonathan Baker, director of the Corporate Fairness Project, according to a NOM press release. He said the organization also reached out to 10,000 customers of Bank of America, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., who generated some 1,400 phone calls to the corporate complaint line.
“We received assurances from both corporations that this kind of discriminatory treatment violates corporate policy and will not happen again,” Baker added.
Cisco called the mistreatment of Turek, “an unfortunate for isolated breakdown in Cisco’s process,” and wrote in a Nov. 4 letter to to NOM that the company was “incorrect in dealing with Dr. Turek and the Austin Group” and that the group’s contract “should not have been summarily ended.” The company further asserted that “it is not Cisco’s policy, nor is it acceptable to discriminate against vendors such as Frank Turek or employees who, outside of the work context, have taken a position supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
Bank of America announced that it has taken “appropriate measures” to address the issue and that “Dr. Turek remains a vendor in good standing with us.”
NOM officials said they were grateful that the two companies had clarified their policies, but added that their efforts to defend those who hold traditional values regarding marriage are far from over.
“This is not the end, it’s the beginning of NOM’s campaign to make sure decent law abiding people who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman are not treated as outcasts or racists. It is not bigotry to say that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, it’s common sense; corporations need to respect the diverse views of their employees and customers,” said NOM President Brian Brown.
Ironically it was Cisco’s policy of “diversity and inclusion” that was initially cited as the reason for letting him go.
“We are glad to hear that these companies have admitted their wrongdoing and unfair practices in dealing with Frank Turek,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We can only hope that their future actions reflect what is written in their response letters to NOM and the executives who made the poor decisions to discriminate realize that their actions not only ended his immediate contract but may have caused him long-term financial harm in addition to undermining their own company’s diversity efforts.”
Dr. Creech said he also wonders how many other Christians have been fired for their beliefs but have been afraid to fight back.
“The good news here is that there are strong statewide and national organizations willing and able to defend our constitutional rights, but we can’t be silent about it. We have to speak up,” he added.