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Allstate sued for religious discrimination (Conservative web writer fired over anti-Gay article)
Northbrook Star ^ | July 21, 2005 | IRV LEAVITT

Posted on 07/21/2005 8:10:45 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John

A former employee has sued Northbrook-based Allstate Insurance Company for discrimination, maintaining he was fired for writing an Internet-published essay that slams same-sex marriage and homosexual lifestyles.

J. Matt Barber, 35, of Villa Park, said last week his Christian faith led him to write the essay in December 2004, on his own time and at home. His federal lawsuit alleges Allstate officials told him the following month that he was being suspended for writing the piece. He was fired three days later.

Barber's lawsuit claims his dismissal violates his constitutional right to free exercise of religion and seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages.

"If a secular employer can fire you for what you believe, a lot of citizens better worry about what their employers can do to them," Barber's attorney, Matthew Davis, said Monday.

Davis works for the Gibbs Law Firm of Seminole, Fla., which specializes in religious rights cases. The firm represented Bob and Mary Schindler, parents of Terri Schiavo, who unsuccessfully sought a court order to prolong her life this year, after a judge ruled she was in a persistent vegetative state and her spouse could order her feeding tube removed.

May 26 complaint

Davis filed Barber's lawsuit May 26, but Allstate wasn't served until July 1. The firm's attorneys have yet to respond to the complaint.

Allstate spokesman Mike Trevino said Monday he couldn't comment on the case, but added, "Allstate would not terminate an employee for expressing personal religious views on his or her own time. I can tell you that any allegation suggesting otherwise is false."

Barber's essay maintains most Americans oppose same-sex marriage, and notes the Canadian Parliament was then pondering legalizing it. The measure passed that Parliament June 28.

"If you pass it, they will come -- that is, along with all the Blue-State fringe lefties despondent over our recent presidential election, expect to see droves of American "same-sex couples" crossing the border in search of their own little slice of 'progressive' utopia," Barber wrote.

The essay also expresses Barber's doubts that homosexuality is a trait present at birth. He said he believes it is probably a lifestyle choice, a learned behavior that can be unlearned with the help of what he called "homosexual recovery organizations." His essay states that "any time anyone dare expose the aforementioned truths about the homosexual lifestyle, or criticize the homosexual lobby for its radical anti-marriage, anti-family agenda, there's an enormous backlash."

Barber's discrimination lawsuit has brought a Web backlash against Allstate, company officials confirmed this week. After the lawsuit's existence was revealed late last month on conservative Web sites, some -- including that of Donald E. Wildmon's powerful American Family Association -- encouraged fans to send e-mails of protest to Allstate, and of support to Barber.

Barber said last Thursday he's received more than 1,000 e-mails, and most support his view.

A non-practicing lawyer and former professional boxer who fought under the name "Bam Bam Barber," he said last Thursday he went to work in corporate security at Allstate five years ago, and was promoted in 2003 to corporate security manager.

Barber said he began writing conservative essays in October 2004. "I felt prompted by prayer to write the article," he said.

But he claimed Allstate seemed to be looking for an excuse to dismiss him before that essay appeared on the Web, because of a conflict with an executive.

Barber said his troubles at Allstate started in the summer of 2003. While providing security on an employee-incentive trip to Lisbon, Portugal, he said he saw an assistant vice president acting inappropriately with a female worker hired for the trip.

Barber said he reported the incident to his supervisor but the executive escaped discipline, and became verbally abusive to Barber.

He filed an official harassment complaint against the executive Sept. 16, 2004, that, according to his lawsuit, has yet to be resolved.

The following day, according to his lawsuit, he was given an unacceptable evaluation by his manager, which he rebutted in writing.

Barber's lawsuit states he accepted a new job in the Distribution Support Division at Allstate, with lower status and pay, in October 2004.

That same month, he began writing articles published in various print and Internet publications of a Christian or politically conservative nature, he said.

According to the lawsuit, his new supervisors knew about his off-work writing activities, and neither had "expressed any misgivings or potential disciplinary problems with Mr. Barber's off-work writing activities."

Nevertheless, the lawsuit alleges he was told Jan. 31 that he was being suspended from his job for writing the essay expressing his views on homosexuals and same-sex marriage.

"They slapped down a copy of the article I had written," he said last week. "I was told that 'here at Allstate we have a very diverse community,' those exact words, 'and you know that Allstate does not hold your position."

He said he was escorted from the building, and fired three days later.

Barber said he remains unemployed.

"Intolerance Will Not be Tolerated: The Gay Agenda vs. Family Values," is one of 10 Barber essays carried on, a conservative Web site. Barber said he never identified himself in biographies attached to his writings as an Allstate employee.

But a boxing Web site contains a 2003 biography of Barber that notes he writes for conservative publications, works for Allstate, and "is a staunch Republican whose long-term goal is to run for Senate or Congress."

Barber maintains Allstate is biased against born-again Christians like him who believe homosexuality is sinful. He said the bias is revealed by Northbrook campus seminars that mandate acceptance of gay lifestyles, and by the Allstate Foundation's support of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and other organizations he calls pro-homosexual.

"There are three different platforms on which the Foundation screens or evaluates requests for grants" to community organizations, Trevino retorted Monday. They are "tolerance, inclusion and diversity.

"We recognize there is a critical link between crime-free communities and tolerance. And Allstate believes personal safety and security can be achieved when individuals feel a sense of belonging."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: allstate; badhandswithallstate; blogger; blogs; fired; freepingopportunity; gay; gayagenda; homosexualagenda; lawsuit; mattbarber; mattbarder; workplace
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To: coconutt2000

From Apia, Samoa, graduated from Samoan High.. just moved from Hawaii 2000. Now the great state of Oregon

21 posted on 07/21/2005 8:57:50 PM PDT by Tamatoa (Surfer)
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To: 26lemoncharlie

Because I do not jump to conclusion. What happen to Dan Rather?

22 posted on 07/21/2005 8:58:43 PM PDT by Tamatoa (Surfer)
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To: Tamatoa

Cool, my mother was a Va'ai from Savai'i. I visit family in Apia almost every year.

23 posted on 07/21/2005 8:59:00 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: coconutt2000

That is really cool.. So what are you doing in Hawaii? When did you visit home last? I miss hanging out with the soles and sugas. What is your email address? Mine is easily just

24 posted on 07/21/2005 9:00:48 PM PDT by Tamatoa (Surfer)
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To: Tamatoa

School. Degree in History. Just got back from Samoa a couple of months ago. At least here in Hawaii, when I get lonely for the Samoans I just drop by the local Samoan bar and cruise for a few hours. email:

25 posted on 07/21/2005 9:05:07 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: concerned about politics
More than likely, Allstate will settle this suit out of court. Most insurance companies rather settle than go to court, it's cheaper. If Allstates' motto is the Good Hands People, I hope this guy's new motto is "Squeeze a little harder for more money from Allstate.
I personally hate insurance companies. The screw everyone and we have no choice in having to use them, i,e; car insurance, unless you're an illegal alien. They don't need insurance, or a license, or a social security number to get everything they need or want for free.
26 posted on 07/21/2005 9:14:43 PM PDT by antiunion person (Liberals will be murdered right alongside the conservatives. Blood is all RED.)
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To: EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; I_Love_My_Husband; ...

Homosexual Agenda Ping + Moral Absolutes Ping - Twofer.

Okay, here's another article about Matt Barber, a local paper this time. Gives quite a bit of background.

It used to be that immoral behavior was something everyone could agree upon. Now the only immoral act is point out immorality.

I'm tired of other peoples' immorality shoved down my throat. Those of us who recongnize immutable moral standards (which are virtually the same in every religion in the world) and dare to make some kind of small sound are the "bad guys".

Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.

(Sorry I've been a bit slack lately - the heat plus other duties...)

27 posted on 07/21/2005 9:15:06 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: thompsonsjkc; odoso; animoveritas; DaveTesla; mercygrace; Laissez-faire capitalist; ...

Duh - Here's the Moral Absolutes part of the ping. Forgot to add YOUR names (some duplicates, haven't figured out how to not do that yet.)

Apoligies to any who have pinged me to good articles that I haven't got to, or stories I haven't posted. Just can't get to everything, I wish I could!

28 posted on 07/21/2005 9:17:10 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: little jeremiah
Sorry I've been a bit slack lately - the heat plus other duties...

I did not think humans went into heat -especially males???


29 posted on 07/21/2005 9:48:28 PM PDT by DBeers ()
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To: Tamatoa

Because I do not jump to conclusion. What happen to Dan Rather?

Dan Rather didn't JUMP to conclusions, He made them up to fit his LIE!

From Samoa, I visited Samoa when I was in the Navy. Can't remember the name of the port we pulled into for fuel. Welcome to the mainland - Oregon huh, watch out for the Liberal Left Wingers up there!!

30 posted on 07/21/2005 9:57:39 PM PDT by 26lemoncharlie ('Cuntas haereses tu sola interemisti in universo mundo!')
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To: DBeers

When it goes over 100 day after day after day...

31 posted on 07/21/2005 9:58:05 PM PDT by little jeremiah (A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom. P. Henry)
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John

Sorry to Allstate insurace policy holders, but I hope they end up paying through the nose.

32 posted on 07/21/2005 9:59:08 PM PDT by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: Tamatoa

Oh yeah? Well, lemme tell ya how they "took care" of this client-a few years ago when the now ex-wife talked me into moving to WV. We got there and had to get new auto insurance. Called everyone listed in phone book and decided on Allstate as they had decent rates, the "good hands" BS, yada, yada, yada. The agent says "you know, you now live in coal country, lots of coal trucks flinging rocks, it's really hell on windshields, it would behoove you to buy the special w/s coverage"(or extra road hazard, or whatever it was called). Well, it was cheap, made sense, so I thought-may as well-it might come in handy. Four months later-yep, you guessed it-I caught a rock big time... but it happened whilst I'm on vacation in GA. No problem, Allstate sent me to a shop and paid to replace it(less deductible). But on the way back home, w/s cracked across bottom. Was it a possible install problem? My typical luck? I don't know but I called my agent. "Go ahead and call an on-site repair outfit" he says, so I did and they came out and replaced it. Again. No problem.

Two months later Allstate cancels me. As in refuses to renew my policy. I had paid for the 6 month policy in full(along with the extra rider) up front, and those two claims were the only ones.

If I were you, I'd keep my resume current.

33 posted on 07/21/2005 11:22:37 PM PDT by snuffy smiff ("the theory of Communism may be summed up in a single sentence:abolition of private property"-K.Marx)
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To: Land_of_Lincoln_John
Seeing as the company seems to be very homosexual it makes me wonder where those "good hands" have been and why they are in such a hurry to get them on me.
34 posted on 07/22/2005 6:09:37 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: coconutt2000; Tamatoa; Admin Moderator
It's great that you guys met on FR and can discuss home type stuff. That's one of the things that makes FR such a great place. But I'd suggest asking the admin mod to delete the posts with your emails on it. Some other websites (DU etc) troll these boards looking for info like that so that they can harass you.

FR has a feature called private reply (unofficially known as freepmail) for just such circumstances

35 posted on 07/22/2005 6:12:58 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: Onelifetogive
"In a free country, AllState should be able to fire him for ANY reason and we would be free to NEVER buy AllState insurance again"

Worth repeating...I'd hope I'd have the right to fire someone who'd been publishing say, anti-American Islamofascist tripe on the internet...but as things go I'm sure I'd be sued for letting them go.

36 posted on 07/22/2005 3:55:17 PM PDT by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: snuffy smiff

Years ago I caught Allstate overcharging me by tagging me with tickets and accidents I never had. They had to refund over $800.

37 posted on 07/22/2005 6:47:36 PM PDT by Petruchio ( ... .--. .- -.-- / .- -. -.. / -. . ..- - . .-. / .. .-.. .-.. . --. .- .-.. / .- .-.. .. . -. ...)
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To: Petruchio


38 posted on 08/20/2005 5:33:52 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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