Believing in traditional marriage not part of "Cisco values"
by Jack Minor
An employee who designed teambuilding programs described as “excellent,” was recently terminated from a large computer company, after his personal beliefs on marriage were discovered by a “gay” employee doing a Google search.
Dr. Frank Turek told the Gazette, he was a consultant with Cisco Systems. Turek designed and conducted a leadership and teambuilding program for about 50 managers, with the Remote Operation Services team. The program was such a success, they asked him to design a similar program for 200 managers with Global Technical Services. Cisco is a large manufacturer of computer routing equipment.
After completing the seventh of ten separate eight hour sessions, a manager phoned in a complaint to human resources. The manager said the course content, as well as how it was conducted was “excellent,” however his complaint was regarding Turek’s political and religious views which he discovered after “googling” Turek after class.
Turek said he was in the classroom when the manager, who identified himself as “gay,” spoke on the phone with human resources. The manager said, he was upset that Turek had written a book, advocating marriage as being solely between a man and woman. At no time did Turek express his political or religious views during the seminars.
Turek was fired later that day for holding a personal view that was inconsistent with “Cisco values.”
According to Turek, Marlyn Nagel, the Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity, apologized for his firing. Turek said, while he appreciated the admission, Nagel did not do anything to address the cultural factors that contributed to his firing. “She refused to admit there was a culture that punished views that were not politically correct.”
Speaking on a recorded phone conversation with Turek and columnist Mike Adams, Nagel said, “Because we believe that it has to be an employee environment where everyone is welcome, we do discourage discussions around strongly held political beliefs or religious beliefs in group settings within Cisco other than certain forums, and so we’re very sensitive about protecting our culture of acceptance of everyone, we don’t want anyone to ever feel excluded and that means all opinions, and I really believe that’s what inclusion is all about.”
She went on to say the company was neutral in the issue of same-sex marriage. “We don’t have any particular political perspective on the issues of same-sex marriage or any of the other issues.”
However, Cisco’s website shows they are very active in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. The website had a page, showing its sponsorship of the “Cisco LGBT and Advocates Speaker Series.” The page has been removed, but a cached version of the page shows speakers such as Evan Low, who is described as the “youngest Asian and “gay” mayor in USA and Boris Dittrich; a member of parliament in the Netherlands, who sponsored same sex marriage legislation in his country.
The moderator is Sherri Liebo, Cisco Vice President of Customer Segment Marketing. Liebo is the co-executive sponsor for the LGBT and Advocates Employee Resource Group and is responsible for guiding Cisco policy and engagement with the company’s employees, partners, customers and suppliers.
Turek asked, if the company truly was neutral on same sex-marriage, why are there no company forums for supporters of traditional marriage. He continued, “I wouldn’t mind getting fired so much, I just wish they would be honest and say they only support one side of the issue.”
Turek has said he will not be pursuing any type of litigation, and that his only interest is in calling attention to Cisco’s policy towards supporters of traditional marriage.
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