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:
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.”
What a library!
Fun. Light. Reading.
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.
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…