When Fox Sports Southwest canned him last September after a single appearance, Craig James came out with guns blazing. Fox Sports had canned him because of his sincerely held and constitutionally protected religious beliefs (i.e. that gays are "going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions."). He was being persecuted, he said, and Fox was going to pay.
Rhetorically, James and his legal team at Plano-based Liberty Institute are still well-stocked with ammo. They continue to portray James -- a white, prosperous, Protestant male -- as a victim of discrimination, and, according to them, they are already racking up legal triumphs.
But James and Liberty might be overplaying their hand here just a tad. The discrimination complaint they so loudly trumpeted last week was merely the initial step in a lengthy bureaucratic process that could end in a settlement or could end in James' case getting laughed out of the Texas Workforce Commission.
Today, they're proclaiming that a "charge of discrimination" has been filed against Fox Sports, which sounds pretty serious sort of like something prosecutors file against suspected criminals, but is actually just another name for the original complaint. The only news here is that the TWC has moved on to the second step of its statutory investigative process.
It's entirely possible that Fox Sports will settle with James at some point, or that the TWC will hand him a right to sue letter, and that a court will buy his argument that a) he was fired because of his stance on gay marriage and not because he's a mediocre broadcaster detested by a considerable segment of the Fox Sports Southwest audience and b) that this is a religious belief that is protected by the constitution.
Until then, it's probably best to keep the triumphalism at a minimum.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.