By Samuel Smith, Christian Post.
A public health expert and Seventh-day Adventist pastor was fired by Georgia’s Department of Public Health after public officials were assigned to watch and review the content of his sermons on YouTube, official government documents indicate.
On Wednesday, The First Liberty Institute announced that it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Eric Walsh against the DPH, alleging that he was fired by the agency over concerns about his sermons’ content on homosexuality.
As it is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make employment decisions based on a person’s religion, documents and email conversations obtained by First Liberty through the Freedom of Information Act appear to reveal a host of damning charges against the DPH.
According to an obtained email, Walsh, who has a medical degree, doctorate in public health and was appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs, was hired in early May 2014 and scheduled to begin working for the agency on June 16, 2014.
But as controversy had previously surrounded Walsh’s conservative views on marriage in California, when LGBT activists protested his selection as commencement speaker at Pasadena City College, documents indicate that officials at the DPH decided to conduct an investigation of their own into Walsh’s view on marriage.
According to an email from May 14, 2014 that was sent by the DPH’s human resources executive Lee Rudd, it is clear that a number of employees were specifically assigned to take a few hours and listen to the content of Walsh’s sermons.