Attorney: Fired Allstate Employee's Trial Carries Implications for Religious Freedom

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    -Cp Senior Member

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    Attorney: Fired Allstate Employee's Trial Carries Implications for Religious Freedom

    By Jim Brown July 19, 2005

    (AgapePress) - There's a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday (July 20) in the case of a former Allstate employee who claims the insurance company fired him for writing an article against homosexual "marriage." The outcome of the case will likely determine whether a Christian employee can be fired for expressing his religious beliefs while off the job.

    Former Allstate security manager Matt Barber recently filed a federal lawsuit against the company, alleging viewpoint discrimination. An investigation by the state of Illinois concluded that Barber was terminated because an "outside organization" complained about an article he wrote on his own time. The article defending traditional marriage appeared on several conservative Internet sites. (See earlier article)

    Barber's attorney, Matt Davis, says there is a great deal riding on the outcome of the case.

    "As we get more and more politically correct in our society, [large] employers like Allstate [that employ] literally hundreds of thousands ...are beginning to try to 'mellow out' the message that not only they make as a corporation, but then also then what is reflected amongst their employees," the attorney says, adding that he sees irony in the situation. "Here you have a company, in the name of tolerance, exercising an extreme degree of intolerance."

    Since the state investigation, Allstate has backed off its original claim and is arguing Barber was not fired because of his conservative views. Davis says the Fortune 100 company is backpedaling.

    "It would be one thing if you had a manager disseminating this kind of information to his employees and misusing the company systems or somehow on company time espousing views that they don't agree with. That would be one thing," he says. "But here we're talking about a guy from his home computer who takes a position from the Bible that he believes, and the company reaching into his living room and saying, 'We don't agree with that -- you're outta here.'"

    Allstate has been a strong supporter of same-sex marriage by giving thousands of dollars in donations to homosexual activist groups. According to the American Family Association, Allstate gave $10,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a homosexual organization which promotes homosexual marriage; $5,000 to the Indiana University office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services; and $15,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Center in Los Angeles. AFA says Allstate also supports homosexual websites with advertising dollars.

    In addition, the insurance company was listed by Diversity Inc. recently in its "Top 10 Companies for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees." Joining Allstate on that list were such household names as Eastman Kodak, Ford Motor Company, Citigroup, Pepsico, Merck and Company, and the Coca-Cola Company.

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