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Bus Driver Fired for Refusing Transportation to Planned Parenthood Sues

A bus driver in Central Texas has sued his former employer, charging that he was discriminated against for his religious beliefs after he was fired for refusing to drive a woman to Planned Parenthood. Ed Graning, an ordained Christian Minister, worked for Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) for a year until he was fired in January 2010. CARTS claims Graning was fired for failing to perform the duties he was hired to perform, according to CNN. Graning filed a lawsuit last week and seeks reinstatement, back pay, damages, and a policy change at the company. He says he feels he was discriminated against after he refused to drive two women to a Planned Parenthood clinic based on concerns “that he might be transporting a client to undergo an abortion,” according to the Statesman. Graning told his supervisor that, “in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion.” Graning is suing the company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids employment discrimination on the basis of sex, religious belief, national origin, or race, according to the Statesman. He is being represented by lawyers from the public interest group, the American Center for Law and Justice, which was founded by evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson. CARTS has responded that they “deny that it discriminated against Mr. Graning on on the basis of religion and look forward to responding to the lawsuit in court,” reports KEYE TV.

Sources:

CNN 7/21/10; Statesman 7/16/10; KEYE TV 7/17/10