By all accounts, Charles Rhoads, Jr. was an excellent worker. After 30-plus years of employment at SPX Flow Technology’s site in Rochester, New York, he was an experienced man who’d been promoted and enjoyed excellent performance reviews. But that didn’t stop SPX from unceremoniously firing him last year — after he expressed opposition to faux marriage.
The problems began on April 20, 2015, when the dutiful Rhoads approached a subordinate, named Craig Tyler, who was engaging in a non-business conversation after his break time had ended — Tyler and another worker were on a phone viewing pictures from the latter’s faux wedding. Instead of simply resuming work, however, Tyler asked Rhoads if he wanted to see the pictures. After Rhoads declined, he says that Tyler “accused me of personally disliking the employee who was in a gay marriage.” Defending himself, Rhoads, a believing Christian, stated that the worker was a “likable person but marriage was from God and not from the politics of man,” reports Rhoads. He again expressed his disinterest in seeing the pictures, and Tyler departed in a huff.