A Christian woman is claiming that a wilderness company rejected her for a position due to her faith, with the hiring manager writing in an email that staffers at the Norwegian-owned business view Christianity as having destroyed their "culture, tradition and way of life."
Bethany Paquette told CBC News that she had applied to work at Amaruk Wilderness Corp., a company that specializes in wilderness expeditions, but that she was "attacked" due to her Christian college background and religious views.
An outdoors expert, she was hoping to join the team as a wilderness guide, but reportedly ended up, instead, having a bizarre email exchange with at least two senior staff members there.
Now, she's complaining to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which oversees civil rights grievances in the province, claiming discrimination.
And Paquette claims she has evidence — a rejection email that reportedly mentions her alma mater Trinity Western University, a Christian school in Canada that has come under fire of late over its faith-based stance against homosexuality.
"It did really hurt me and I did feel really attacked on the basis that I'm a Christian," Paquette told CBC. "My beliefs have developed who I am as an individual, but they don't come into play when I am doing my job."
The email, which reportedly came from Olaf Amundsen, who handles hiring for the company, purportedly said that Paquette wasn't qualified and then proceeded to mention Trinity Western by name.
"Unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want," the letter read, according to CBC.
And that's not all. The text continued: "The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life."
After Paquette responded and defended her faith, she received yet another email that she described as offensive. Then, a third message purportedly came in the same vein from Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen, the company's co-CEO, according to CBC.
Paquette will seek compensation and damages if the human rights tribunal decides that she was, indeed, discriminated against. But so far Amaruk Wilderness Corp. claims that she was rejected simply because of her lack of qualifications.
"As per rejection letter attached, Ms. Paquette was not considered for a position with our company solely based on the fact that she did not meet the minimum requirements of the position," Amundsen wrote in a statement to CBC. "Any further discussion after that, including the fact that we strongly disagree with the position that gay people should not be allowed to marry or even engage in sexual relationships, would have been a mere expression of opinion."
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