DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) – A former contractor for Ford Motor Co. who says he was fired for criticizing the automaker’s efforts to support the gay community is suing.

Thomas Banks, of Ypsilanti, has filed a lawsuit against the Dearborn-based automaker and Troy-based Rapid Global Business Solutions in federal court. Banks says his civil rights were violated because he was fired last August after speaking up in defense of his Christian beliefs.

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The suit seeks unspecified damages for loss of wages, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, shame and anxiety.

Ford says it wasn’t in a position to comment because the lawsuit hadn’t been reviewed. A Rapid Global spokeswoman also hasn’t seen the lawsuit.

The legal action comes after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided not to pursue a complaint filed on Banks’ behalf.

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Banks said he was fired Aug. 4 after he expressed his religious beliefs about homosexuality.

“I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment,” Banks said in a statement.

Banks said he responded to a July newsletter that shared Ford’s support and an employee resource group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. He said he submitted a comment that said Ford should be ashamed of endorsing and promoting homosexuality.

Banks said he was fired the same day he was informed his comments violated the company’s anti-harassment policy.

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