The editor of a small Iowa newspaper who lost his job after calling for a "fight" against LGBT rights has reached an out-of-court settlement of his religious discrimination claim.
Bob Eschliman was fired from the Newton Daily News in May 2014 after writing on his personal blog that people "must fight" what he dubbed "the Gaystapo" and "the enemy."
A spokesperson for the conservative nonprofit legal group that often figures in these so-called religious discrimination cases, Liberty Institute, told the Associated Press this week that Eschliman and Daily News owner Shaw Media Inc. reached a confidential settlement over his termination. No dollar figure was released.
Eschliman filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July 2014, and his legal team has since exchanged correspondencemultiple times. The EEOC declined comment to The Advocate about the complaint, but the Daily News reports that both it and a complaint filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission were dismissed.
On his blog, Eschliman expressed his displeasure with attempts to interpret the Bible through a gay-positive lens. His post appears to be motivated by the marketing of a revised edition of the Bible, called the Queen James Bible, which its publisher says has been edited to prevent homophobic interpretations, as well as the Reformation Project, a group headed by Matthew Vines that advocates for LGBT equality within Christianity.
Eschliman condemned "the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo effort to reword the Bible to make their sinful nature 'right with God,'" in reference to the Queen James Bible.
At the time of Eschliman's firing, Shaw Media president John Rung wrote a letter in the paper explaining that while Eschliman is protected by the First Amendment to express his feelings freely, the newspaper has "a right to select an editor who we believe best represents our company and best serves the interests of our readers."
Eschliman reportedly tried to appease his employer by taking the blog post down, but he was fired anyway.