The world’s largest furniture retailer has fired an employee for quoting Bible verses after staff were told to participate in a gay-pride event.
The long-term employee, known only as Tomasz K, was sacked by IKEA after he refused to withdraw critical comments he posted on the company intranet which included quotes from the Bible.
The store had posted a notice on its intranet asking staff to join in celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Staff were also allegedly asked to pay attention to people’s preferred pronouns and engage in positive conversations with LGBTQ people about their gay partners and their same-sex families.
Tomasz responded by saying, “acceptance and promotion of homosexuality and other deviations is a source of scandal.”
A statement issued by IKEA said: “The employee actually used quotes from the Old Testament about death and blood in the context of what fate should meet homosexuals. Many employees concerned by this entry contacted our HR department.”
After his sacking, Tomasz told television network TVP Info: “I was shaken up. I’ve been hired to sell furniture, but I’m a Catholic and these aren’t my values.”
According to Bloomberg, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro told TVP Info, if confirmed by the investigation, the episode shows how foreign companies in Poland “discriminate” against those who don’t’ share their values.
“This is unacceptable,” he said. “It’s absolutely scandalous.”
Patryk Jaki, a ruling-party lawmaker and Ziobro’s former deputy, offered Tomasz legal help and called for a boycott of Ikea if investigations found the retailer was discriminating against Catholics, Bloomberg’s report added.