This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A lawsuit has been filed by First Liberty Institute against Alaska Airlines for its aggressive reaction to how two flight attendants expressed concerns about how the company’s pro-LGBT agenda would impact their Christian rights.
First Liberty said the airline dismissed the two “because they asked questions in a company forum about the company’s support for the ‘Equality Act.’”
The company had started the conversation about the political agenda and then turned intolerant when the two, Marli Brown and Lacey Smith, raised concerns in the same forum.
Also named as a defendant is the Association of Flight Attendants union for allegedly helping the company discriminate against the two.
Both flight attendants had requested help from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the agency has issued right-to-sue letters in their cases.
“Alaska Airlines ‘canceled’ Lacey and Marli because of their religious beliefs, flagrantly disregarding federal civil rights laws that protect people of faith from discrimination,” said Stephanie Taub, senior counsel for First Liberty. “It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression. ‘Woke’ corporations like Alaska Airlines think that they do not have to follow the law and can fire employees if they simply don’t like their religious beliefs.”
The company started promoting the Equality Act, which critics have charged would destroy women’s rights across the nation, on an employee message board in 2021. It invited employees to comment. The proposal would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes in federal law, essentially allowing any man who claims to be a woman to put himself in line to benefit from “women’s rights.”
So Smith asked, “As a company, do you think it’s possible to regulate morality?” Brown asked, “Does Alaska support: endangering the Church, encouraging suppression of religious freedom, obliterating women rights and parental rights? ….”
The company immediately “investigated” them, suspended and then fired them. The airline also made claims that their beliefs were “hateful” and “offensive.”
The airline also was promoting the LGBT agenda with pronoun pins, “He/Him,” “She/Her,” and “They/Them” to employees.
The complaint explains, “Alaska Airlines may lawfully engage in social advocacy, but it must not do so in a manner that discriminates or creates a hostile work environment against protected classes. Alaska Airlines’ Diversity Statements Fail to Include Religion as a Protected Class … Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color, and national origin. Other federal statutes prohibit discrimination based on age and disability.”
The First Liberty complaint states, “Despite Alaska Airlines’ claimed commitment to an inclusive culture and its frequent invitations to employees to dialogue and express a diversity of perspectives, Alaska Airlines created a work environment that is hostile toward religion, and AFA reinforced that company culture. Alaska Airlines and AFA cannot wield their social advocacy as a sword to unlawfully discriminate against religious employees and instead must remain mindful of their legal obligation to ‘do the right thing’ towards all employees, including religious employees. The court must hold Alaska Airlines and the AFA accountable for their discrimination.”
WND reported in 2021 when the complaints about the airline’s discrimination arose.
The Heritage Foundation has explained the Equality Act would penalize Americans who don’t affirm gender ideology, compel individuals to speak messages with which they disagree, would close down charities unless they relinquished their religion, allow for males who call themselves females to participate in sports events designated for girls or women, would coerce medical professionals to perform body-mutilating surgeries when told to, would jeopardize parental rights and “enable sexual assault.”
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