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Ex-Ford Contractor Claims He Was Fired For Anti-Gay Statements

DEARBORN (AP) - A former contractor for Ford Motor Co. has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that says he was fired for criticizing the automaker's efforts to support the gay community.

The complaint was filed Wednesday by the nonprofit legal group Liberty Institute on behalf of Thomas Banks, of Ypsilanti. It names Dearborn-based Ford and Troy-based RGBSI, an engineering services and workforce management business.

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.

Ford said in a statement it hadn't seen the complaint but believes the matter "ultimately is between the individual and their agency employer."

The automaker said: "Ford's anti-harassment policy was created to foster a respectful, inclusive work environment for all, and we expect employees and agency personnel to act in accordance with this policy."

A person who answered the telephone Friday morning at RGBSI said there was no comment before hanging up.

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.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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