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Fired Editor Claims Discrimination

NEWTON, IA (AP) -- The former editor of the Newton Daily News has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming he was fired for expressing his religious beliefs.   

In the complaint filed Wednesday, Bob Eschliman claimed religious discrimination and retaliation.   

If the agency agrees with him it could order the newspaper's parent company, Dixon, Illinois-based Shaw Media Inc., to pay damages including back pay.   

Shaw Media President John Rung didn't immediately return a call.   

Eschliman was fired May 6, a week after he wrote on a personal blog that gay organizations wanted to reword the Bible "to make their sinful nature `right with God.'"   

He is represented by Des Moines attorney Matthew Whitaker, a volunteer attorney with the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal organization focusing on religious liberty issues.

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