October 1, 2014
The former editor of the Newton, Iowa Daily News filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday, claiming he was fired for expressing his religious beliefs.
Bob Eschliman claims religious discrimination and retaliation. He was fired May 6th, a week after he wrote on a personal blog that gay organizations wanted to reword the Bible "to make their sinful nature 'right with God.'"
If the agency agrees with him, it could order the newspaper's parent company, Dixon, Illinois-based Shaw Media Inc., to pay damages including back pay. Company President John Rung said in May that Eschliman's opinion does not reflect the opinion of the newspaper or the company. He said Eschliman's public airing of his opinion compromised the publication's reputation.
Eschliman is represented by Des Moines attorney Matthew Whitaker, a volunteer attorney with the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal organization focusing on religious liberty issues.