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Ex-Ford Contractor Files Federal Lawsuit, Claims He Was Fired Over Anti-Gay Comments

DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) - A former contractor for Ford Motor Co. who says he was fired for criticizing the automaker's efforts to support the gay community is suing.

Thomas Banks, of Ypsilanti, has filed a lawsuit against the Dearborn-based automaker and Troy-based Rapid Global Business Solutions in federal court. Banks says his civil rights were violated because he was fired last August after speaking up in defense of his Christian beliefs.

The suit seeks unspecified damages for loss of wages, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, shame and anxiety.

Ford says it wasn't in a position to comment because the lawsuit hadn't been reviewed. A Rapid Global spokeswoman also hasn't seen the lawsuit.

The legal action comes after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided not to pursue a complaint filed on Banks' behalf.

Banks said he was fired Aug. 4 after he expressed his religious beliefs about homosexuality.

"I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment," Banks said in a statement.

Banks said he responded to a July newsletter that shared Ford's support and an employee resource group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. He said he submitted a comment that said Ford should be ashamed of endorsing and promoting homosexuality.

Banks said he was fired the same day he was informed his comments violated the company's anti-harassment policy.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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