Christian public health expert settles religious discrimination lawsuit for almost $250K

A religious discrimination lawsuit between the state of Georgia and a Christian public health expert and lay preacher who was fired for expressing his beliefs on homosexuality has been settled for almost $250,000.

(REUTERS / Max Rossi)A gay couple hold hands during their symbolic wedding ceremony in central Rome May 21, 2005.

On Thursday, Dr. Eric Walsh settled a religious discrimination lawsuit against Georgia for $225,000, an amount that the state agreed to pay him, The Christian Post details.

First Liberty Institute, who represented Dr. Walsh, said their client applied for the Georgia Department of Public Health's district health director post during a leave from his previous job in Pasadena, California. He also reportedly opened up about a number of complaints against his online sermons during his 2014 job interview in Georgia. The Christian preacher was hired by the state but was fired a day before he was scheduled to start his new job.

Dr. Walsh filed the federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Public Health for firing him because of his sermons against homosexuality and evolution. First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys previously said nobody should be terminated for views expressed in a church or during a sermon, Fox News relays.

"I am grateful this trial has finally ended," said Walsh of his ordeal in a statement. "It's been a long, difficult journey, but it's worth it to have my name cleared and to ensure that all Georgia government employees know they have religious liberty."

Dys previously told Fox that the government could come after Christians for their "beliefs on anything" if it is allowed to boot out a person for something said during a sermon. Walsh, on the other hand, said he did not believe he did anything wrong. He said he strongly believes in the American Constitution, but what happened to him has made him feel that the ideals and values he grew up with may no longer exist.

In 2014, when Dr. Walsh was still the public health director for Pasadena, California, it was discovered he had expressed his religious views on homosexuality in his online sermons. Students reportedly complained about these sermons and he was later placed on leave. He was forced to resign from this post in the same year and received an amount of money as settlement from Pasadena.