February 17th, 2012

The very popular, openly gay music director at a Charlotte, North Carolina, Catholic church, a former Methodist minister and now an Episcopalian, married his partner of 23 years with whom he had been living. Then he was fired. The music director said that he had informed the church pastor of his marriage plans, and that the pastor said he was “happy for him” but could not give him his blessing. He said he doesn’t understand why the pastor didn’t warn him that he could be fired. After returning from a honeymoon trip to Mexico, the music director was hospitalized for a ruptured appendix. When he checked out of the hospital and dropped by his parish, he was passive-aggressively handed a note by the church pastor with whom he had closely worked for more than four years. It read: 

Employees of St. Gabriel … are expected to live within the moral tradition of the Church…Your civil marriage stands in direct opposition to the teaching of the Catholic Church, therefore ending your employment with us, effective today.

Of course, he shouldn’t have been surprised that he could be openly gay, could openly live with his partner of 23 years, could change religious affiliations, and still be fired (with a note!). After all, he has worked for, and worshipped with, one of the nastiest organizations on earth.