Alaska Airlines: Opposed to free speech and religious freedom
Picture credit: Quintin Soloviev
Bring a gun to a knife fight: Today’s blacklist story is a follow-up on a September 2021 story about two flight attendants — Marli Brown and Lacey Smith — who were fired by Alaska Airlines because they had the nerve to question the airline’s public support of a gay rights bill, and asked those questions on a forum the airline had itself arranged for employees to comment.
At the time the attendants, represented by the First Liberty Institute, had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which recently issued “right-to-sue” letters to both attendants.
First Liberty has now filed its lawsuit, which you can read here [pdf]. The suit is against both Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants Association of the AFL-CIO that failed to defend both Brown and Smith. From the complaint:
On February 25, 2021, Alaska Airlines posted an article about its support for the Equality Act to an internal employee message board and solicited employee comments. The Equality Act is proposed legislation that would add “sexual orientation and gender identity” as protected classes to a variety of federal statutes and would curtail the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In response, Marli and Lacey felt compelled by their Christian faith to post one comment each, asking about the impact of the Equality Act on civil rights for religion and women in the workplace.
Alaska Airlines responded to Marli and Lacey’s posts by immediately removing Marli and Lacey from their flight schedules, terminating their employment, and disparaging their religious expression and beliefs as “discriminatory,” “hateful,” and “offensive.”
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