A former Alaska Airlines flight attendant fought back after being fired for wanting to have a dialogue over the company’s support of the pro-LGBT Equality Act.
Lacey Smith responded to a notice on an internal company message board in which the company expressed its support for the bill, according to First Liberty Institute, which represented Smith.
“As a company, do you think it’s possible to regulate morality?” she wrote, according to First Liberty’s website.
“I was shocked that the airline I loved working for fired me for asking a question about something the airline asked us to support,” Smith said, according to Newsweek.
“I thought my question would receive the same level of respect that I give to others. It’s frightening to think that Americans can lose their jobs for simply asking questions about important issues,” she said.
According to Newsweek, the bill, also known as H.R. 5, “prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment housing, credit and the jury system. It more specifically defines and includes sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among prohibited categories of discrimination and segregation.”
It passed in the Democratic-controlled House in February by a vote of 224-206.
In August, First Liberty filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Smith and another fired flight attendant, whose name was not released, according to Fox Business.
It announced the lawsuit in a Sept. 10 news release headlined “First Liberty Defends Christian Flight Attendant Fired for Questioning the Equality Act.”
In her EEO complaint, Smith said she was asking out of concern for how religious beliefs are treated in the workplace.
The airline, however, said her question was offensive and discriminatory by suggesting that gender orientation was a moral issue.
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) September 11, 2021
First Liberty noted that the issue is bigger than one employer.
“Lacey’s termination demonstrates the heavy hand woke corporate America wields over religious employees, as well as the devastating repercussions that can follow. The consequences for those who dare to violate the ‘acceptable’ speech codes set up by the corporate elite are extreme,” it wrote.
“This brave patriot has resolved to be the one to stand by her God-given rights to believe as her conscious and faith dictate, not the official ‘woke’ narrative from a corporation,” First Liberty wrote.
The second flight attendant, a woman who was otherwise unidentified in the complaint, went even further in her criticisms than Smith’s question. She said that the proposed law would end up endangering girls and women in places designed to ensure their safety.
“Does Alaska support: endangering the Church, encouraging suppression of religious freedom, obliterating women rights and parental rights? This act will force every American to agree with controversial government-imposed ideology or be treated as an outlaw,” the flight attendant wrote, according to the EOE complaint.
“The Equality act [Act] would affect everything from girls’ and women’s showers and locker rooms to women’s shelters and women’s prisons, endangering safety and diminishing privacy. Giving people blanket permission to enter private spaces for the opposite sex enables sexual predators to exploit the rules and gain easy access to victims. This is the Equality Act.”
She was immediately banned from the workplace and eventually fired, the complaint said.
“The corporate ‘canceling’ of our clients by Alaska Airlines makes a mockery of laws that protect religious Americans from employment discrimination,” David Hacker, director of litigation for First Liberty Institute, said Sept. 8, according to Fox Business.
“It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression. Every American should be frightened if an employer can fire them for simply asking questions based on their religious beliefs about culturally important issues,” he said.
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