Is It Fair That Cisco Systems Fired Dr. Turek For The Anti-Gay Articles He Never Mentioned At Work?

Cisco Systems, producers of fine networking technology, fired Dr. Frank Turek for his 2008-2010 anti-gay writings even though Turek never mentioned his anti-gay positions or publications at work.

So on one hand, we’re like “Yay! Good job Cisco!! Fire the bigot!!!” But on the other we’re like, Would you like every word you’ve ever uttered (even on Facebook) used to fire you? Especially if you were a good employee?

So read this tale and tell us: is Cisco a hero or did they needlessly punish a man for his right to free speech on his private time?

Around 1PM on Thursday, Dr. Turek posted the following message on his Twitter account:

“The Cisco Kid: Fired by [Cisco Systems, Inc.] for my political views even though they were never mentioned during work. via @townhallcom.”

You see:

Dr. Turek was hired by Cisco to design and conduct a leadership and teambuilding program for about fifty managers with your Remote Operations Services team. The program took about a year to conduct, during which he also conducted similar sessions for another business unit within Cisco. That training earned such high marks that in 2010 he was asked to design a similar program for about 200 managers within Global Technical Services. Ten separate eight-hour sessions were scheduled.

Then “one of the managers who attended his seminar Googled Turek’s name and found incontrovertible proof that Turek is a homophobe.”

Wait a second. What do you mean, “incontrovertible proof”?

Here’s a sampling of his hotter “non-fiction” hits:

“Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It’s Bad” (May 26, 2008) – in which he says that marriage equality will hurt “children and the rest of society.”

“The Preposterous Premise of Gay Marriage” (Nov 27, 2008) – in which he says that sexual desires shouldn’t guarantee people special legal rights and that “race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it.”

“Top Ten Gay Marriage False “Facts” (Aug 12, 2010) – in which he disagrees the top ten “facts” in Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision on the unconstitutionality of Prop 8.

What a library!
Fun. Light. Reading.
So sexy!!

So what happened next?:

The manager complained to Cisco’s HR Department, which promptly fired Turek. Bravo, Cisco! Disagreement will not be tolerated. That was the right move to make. Very courageous.

Very courageous.

Did we mention that the writer of the above blockquote has “[gone] on record as a strong supporter of firing all opponents of marriage equality?” So… would he think that Tracy Morgan should be fired?

That same writer also spoke in Turek’s defense in the same article saying:

“[His] writing was an outside activity that has nothing to do with his work at Cisco. He never presented himself as an employee of Cisco when he wrote. Also, his leadership and team-building seminars were excellent, according to the gay complainer who got him fired. He never once mentioned during his seminar that he wrote a homophobic book, and the only reason the perpetually offended homosexual knew about it is because he typed Turek’s name into a search engine.”

But there’s more…

Here’s the thing, in his free time Turek doesn’t only write anti-gay articles, but he also runs a Christian website called Cross Examined that tackles the very real religious problem of collegiate intellectual skepticism and declining church attendance among young adults aged 18 or older.

Hmm… could that be due to preachers like this? Or is church just becoming un-hip?

Anyway, here’s the front page of Cross Examined and two front pages of Impact Apologetics, the website it links to for folks to learn more about “other topics faced by young people today.”

Click on the image for the larger version.

Cross Examined‘s front page features the following sarcastic quote from Dinesh D’Souza about the folly of sending your kids to college: “Isn’t it wonderful that educators have figured out a way to make parents the instruments of their own undoing?”

Turek apparently speaks to college groups about the scientific evidence proving the existence of miracles and God as well as the historical accuracy of the New Testament.

The website he links to Impact Apologetics, a retailer selling tapes and CDs—wait… TAPES??!!—of lectures addressing Islamic issues (“Answering the Threat of Islam”), evolution (“Defending Creation vs. Evolution”), and the occult (“14 Things Witches Don’t Want Parent to Know”).

Sadly we didn’t have $2.99 to listen the MP3 download (bloggers make shit). But we’re sure it’s mind-blowingly awesome.

Here’s the thing. Shouldn’t you be free to blog about whatever you want in your free time? Wait… that didn’t work for faggy ex-Assistant Attorney General of Michigan Andrew Shirvell. Of course, he called University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong a gay nazi and publicly harassed Chris, his friends and friends’ parents. Love is weird like that.

But so far we have no evidence that Turek’s extracurricular activities affected his work with Cisco and its employees in the least. We can speculate that it might have, but we have no actual proof, so he’s innocent by the American legal standard. He didn’t stalk and verbally bash gay people like Shirvell. He didn’t use government resources to express his anti-gay views like Shirvell. He wasn’t a government employee like Shirvell. So is Turek’s firing poetic justice or an unfair free speech firing by Cisco?

Before you answer, think about your own personal prejudices. The times you’ve verbally admitted them in the past. To anyone. Would you like your every word used against you for the rest of your life?

We’re not slamming Cisco. In fact we called them this morning and searched their website to find out more about their human resources and LGBT employment policies; especially regarding same-sex couples. We have not yet heard back. We have also reached out to Dr. Turek. When we hear back from either of them, we will update this story.

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