TIMBERVILLE, Va. (BP)–A Virginia man says he was fired from his job because he refused to remove statements on his truck supportive of a proposed constitutional marriage amendment.
Luis Padilla had placed signs on his black Dodge truck backing Amendment 1, which will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot and would amend the Virginia constitution to protect the natural definition of marriage. According to a video shown on WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg, Va., Padilla had hand-painted white lettering on his back window reading, “Please vote for marriage on Nov. 7.” He also had a bumper sticker stating, “Vote Yes 4 Marriage.”
Padilla says he was fired because of the sign. The company, Cargill — which produces agricultural products — says he was fired because of insubordination.
According to the Daily News Record newspaper, the company, following complaints, told Padilla to remove the sign. He did, but came back to work the next day with the hand-painted sign back on his truck. However, he parked his truck outside company gates, believing he was off the property, the newspaper reported. The company, though, said he was still on its property. After he tried covering up the sign with cardboard, the company fired him, the newspaper said.
“I tried to accommodate them,” Padilla told the Daily News Record.
The company’s attorney said Padilla’s actions violated Cargill’s policies on intolerance, and that the sign could have been “reasonably construed as a show of hostility and intolerance toward homosexuals.”
State Sen. Mark Obenshain, a Republican, sent a letter to Cargill urging the company to reinstate Padilla. Obenshain told the newspaper that the company’s actions are an example of the “perils of politically correct speech codes.”
“It would shock me if this reflects a corporate position,” Obenshain said. “If this is the position of the company, I find it outrageous.”
Said Padilla, “It’s not about winning. It’s not about money. It’s about my honor.”
Pro-family groups are considering filing a lawsuit.
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE CHANGES POLICY — In a change of policy, the head of the Episcopal diocese in Connecticut has announced that Episcopal priests there may give blessings to same-sex unions at church ceremonies, The New York Times reported Oct. 23.
Connecticut is one of two states to recognize homosexual civil unions, which grant many of the legal benefits of marriage without using the word “marriage.” The new policy does not allow the priests to officiate at the civil union ceremonies themselves but does permit them to bless the couples after the civil union has become official.
“At the heart of the matter is whether we as a church will welcome and embrace, serve with and care for and bless persons who are homosexual and partnered as cherished and fully accepted members of the body of Christ,” the head of the diocese, Bishop Andrew Smith, said in a speech at a church in Hartford, Conn., according to The Times.
But Christopher Leighton, pastor of a church in Darien, Conn., called Smith a “perpetrator of false teaching” and said the decision was “defiant of Scripture and worldwide Christianity,” The Times reported.
N.C. REPUBLICANS MAKE PROMISE — Republicans in the North Carolina Senate say if their party captures the chamber on Election Day, they will allow a vote on a constitutional marriage amendment. Republicans say Democrats in the Senate have prevented a vote on a bill that would send such an amendment to voters.
“There should be no debate that the people of the state of North Carolina ought to have the right to vote, and the Senate ought to have the right to vote,” Republican state Sen. Fred Smith said, according to the Wilmington Star.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage