Anti-gay pastor says he’s victim of discrimination

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The anti-gay pastor who claimed that homosexuality is “from the pits of hell” – and was fired nearly as quickly as he was hired by a Georgia health agency – has filed a federal complaint arguing he was canned for his religious beliefs.

When the years-old anti-gay sermons of Dr. Eric Walsh surfaced in May, he was suspended then quit his public health post in California. But the Georgia Department of Public Health had already offered him a leadership post in a North Georgia district that includes Cherokee, Pickens, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin and Gilmer counties.

So as critics pointed to Walsh's sermons – which condemn decisions by psychiatric and psychological groups for decades ago declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness and claim that if “God's plan was followed, there would be no AIDS epidemic” – the Georgia agency quickly backtracked and then rescinded its job offer.

Now, Walsh wants the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to bail him out. An attorney for Walsh says they also plan to file a lawsuit over the matter.

“I was shocked at what happened, quite frankly, and didn't know in the United States of America that something like this could happen,” Walsh tells WSB in the video clip above.

A spokesperson for the state Public Health Department tells the AJC that the agency's decision to rescind its job offer had nothing to do with his religious beliefs.

In an emailed statement Tuesday, Public Health Department spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said the state “withdrew Dr. Eric Walsh’s conditional offer of employment in May 2014 for reasons entirely unrelated to his beliefs. DPH will respond to the EEOC complaint as soon as possible.”

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