DAVENPORT, Iowa (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian father of 11 lost his job at a major corporation in Iowa for his refusal to engage in LGBT “pride” activities at work and sharing his opposition to the LGBT agenda.
Corey Cunningham, of Davenport, Iowa, lost his job at the Eaton Corporation, a massive power management company that did $20.2 billion worth of sales in 2022. He had a record of positive evaluations from the company and also had gained certification that enhanced his ability as a quality manager.
The dad of 11 “was terminated after he wore a shirt with a Bible verse challenging the LGBT movement amid repeated corporate inclusion campaigns,” according to The Sentinel, which first broke the story and reviewed supporting documentation.
The four-year employee “expressed disillusionment as senior managers at his workplace pushed multiple LGBT inclusion initiatives, such as the flying of a rainbow flag outside of the facility alongside the American flag and Iowa state flag,” The Sentinel reported.
He also declined to wear blue and brown in June in support of transgender ideology.
Problems escalated for Cunningham after he took advantage of a relaxed dress code day to wear a shirt that quoted Proverbs 16:18 and said “pride goes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall.”
A human resources administrator met with Cunningham “to discuss alleged complaints about the shirt.” He reportedly had worn the shirt before and lost his job in late August after wearing it again.
A document, reviewed by The Sentinel, told Cunningham he was not “allowed to wear that shirt, or any other shirt that disparages a group of employees in the future.”
The company also declined his subsequent requests for religious accommodations, including his opposition to using someone’s “preferred pronouns.”
The Sentinel reported:
Cunningham submitted a request for religious accommodation on July 27, specifically asking that he would be able to wear apparel “representative of God and his word” even as other employees are “encouraged to wear apparel” that communicates their beliefs, a reference to Eaton “pride” shirts recently offered to employees at the facility. He also requested that he would never be forced to call individuals by pronouns other than those related to “the sex they were biologically born with,” since “to consciously say otherwise would be to lie.”
Prior to his firing, the company told Cunningham “respecting an individual’s wishes regarding pronoun usage is not a lie.” The Sentinel reported that Cunningham was also told “failure to use preferred pronouns would be a violation of civil rights laws,” paraphrasing documentation the outlet reviewed.
Eaton did not respond to an email Tuesday morning from LifeSiteNews that asked for comment on the allegations raised in The Sentinel story and if the company could point to a specific law that states employees must use someone’s “preferred pronouns.”
LifeSiteNews also asked if the company planned to look into the situation further and planned to investigate ways to respect the rights of religious employees.
A spokeswoman told The Sentinel “pride month ceremonies or events” were optional.
“We value inclusion and diversity at Eaton and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind in the workplace,” the spokeswoman said.
“We aspire to be a model of inclusion and diversity in our industry—a place where everyone matters, a place where everyone belongs,” the CEO of the company states in a quote on the corporation’s website.
Another part of the “Inclusion” portion of the website says the company aims to increase its percentage of female and minority employees, which implicitly means reducing the number of white males at the company, something Cunningham pointed out in his comments.
Cunningham said the new emphasis on “diversity” and “inclusion” left him feeling excluded.
“What appears to me, if you are a white male, your opinion does not matter as much as everybody else’s, because you’re a majority, not a minority,” he told The Sentinel. “That’s not the demographic they are going for. So when they say inclusion, they are talking about everybody else’s demographic, not yours.”