Antigay Consultant Claims Discrimination by Bank of America, Other Clients
BY Lucas Grindley
September 05 2011 2:09 PM ET
A team-building consultant whose presentation was canceled by Bank of America after it discovered he'd written an antigay book says he close to winning his client back. And he's going on a radio show sponsored by a "hate group" to help do it.
Frank Turek is the author of Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. That bit of free speech hasn't been so good for business recently. He was set to deliver a talk for Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina but employees there complained.
Turek had also lost a contract earlier this year with Cisco Systems for the same reason — employees complained.
He was supposed to deliver a talk on, of all things, diversity. It was entitled, "Why Can't You Be Normal Just Like Me?" according to the Christian Post. Turek claims that Bank of America has invited him back to talk this week with the global head of inclusion and diversity, and he suspects the company will admit a mistake and then take him back.
That's because Turek said his dismissal is religious and political discrimination, a claim he repeated while on a radio show from the American Family Association. The AFA is labeled as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its recurring dissemination of false information about gay people.
The AFA has a history of discrimination of its own. Its radio spokesman recently called for the recriminalization of homosexuality, for example.
“By the time of the founding until the late 20th Century,” Bryan Fischer said on the radio in August, “homosexual activity was a felony offense in the United States
of America, there is no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once
A guest on the same episode of the show with Turek, president of the Family Research Council Tony Perkins, is the head of another "hate group," as determined by the SPLC. Perkins recently attacked ABC Family for including gay themes in its television programs.
"Tell them what they gain by being gay-friendly doesn’t compare with what they’ll lose," he said. "And that’s viewers."
Perkins' group also opposed the recent selection of a gay man by the Republican National Committee as a member of its finance committee, and it called on supporters to stop donating to the Republican Party in response.
Turek's association with the AFA doesn't stop with his frequent radio appearances. He's also a contributing columnist for their blog, having recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism and pedophilia.
"All of us were born with an 'orientation' to bad behavior, but those desires don’t justify the behaviors," Turek wrote. "If you are born with a genetic predisposition to alcohol, does that mean you should be an alcoholic? If you have a genetic attraction to children does that mean you should be a pedophile? What homosexual activist would say that a genetic predisposition to anger justifies gay-bashing? (Don’t blame me—I was born with the anti-gay gene!) Certainly, those that oppose alcoholism, pedophilia and gay bashing are not 'bigots' — they are wise."
Turek's argument that he deserves to keep his contract with Bank of America despite spreading falsehoods about gay people is similar to that of Jerry Buell, the Florida teacher who went on Facebook to call same-sex marriage a "cesspool" that made him sick. Buell was able to keep his job after arguing that he made the comments while outside the classroom and that it was his First Amendment right to do so.
Although Turek is not a full-time employee and was instead an occasional leadership and team building consultant for Bank of America, he claims that what he says while not working as a consultant are political and religious views that should not be a factor in whether potential clients hire him for jobs.
Correction: The original article named Tony Perkins as head of the incorrect group. He is president of the Family Research Council.
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