President Donald Trump’s new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker appears to believe that religious people have the right to denigrate LGBT people.
Just three years ago, Whitaker defended a newspaper editor who had publicly labeled LGBTQ people “the gaystapo” and “the enemy.” Whitaker claimed his client’s “sincerely-held religious beliefs” gave him a right to do that – while keeping his job.
As reported by NCRM, Bob Eschliman, the editor of a small Iowa newspaper, wrote in 2014 an angry post attacking gay people and the LGBT community as “the enemy,” “the deceivers,” the “Gaystapo,” and “the LGBTQXYZ crowd,” as NCRM reported.
His employer, the third third-oldest family-owned newspaper in the country, took a principled stand and fired him – not for his religious beliefs, but for a very ugly attack on LGBTQ people. In an editorial after terminating him the newspaper noted that it had “lost some of that public trust that is so vital to our existence” as a newspaper, as a result of Eschliman’s actions, and were working to get it back.
Eschliman filed a federal complaint against his former bosses with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claiming he was fired for his religious beliefs.
His attorney, Matthew Whitaker, penned a letter in 2015 to his former employer, claiming Eschliman “holds religious beliefs” and that they “intentionally discriminated” against him for his religious beliefs.
Donald Trump named Whitaker as the Acting Attorney General after firing Jeff Sessions.