February 27, 2017

February 5, 2014

Catholic School Sued for Anti-Gay Discrimination

The creeping assault by gay rights advocates on religious freedom took another step forward last week as a “married” gay man filed a complaint against a Catholic prep school with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. According to the Boston Globe:

Matthew Barrett thought he had found his dream job.

He had worked in the food industry for more than two decades, and when he was offered a job in July as food services director at Fontbonne Academy, a Roman Catholic-based girls’ prep school in Milton, he quickly accepted.

But Barrett, 43, said the offer was rescinded only two days later — once the head of school realized Barrett had listed his husband as his emergency contact, according to a complaint he was set to file Thursday with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

“She said the Catholic religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, and that was her excuse. She said, ‘We cannot hire you,’ ” Barrett said in an interview in the Boston offices of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which is representing him.

“Excuse”? A Catholic school refusing to hire someone who is engaged in sexual practices that directly contradict Catholic teaching is an “excuse”?

Barrett’s complaint, which may be the first of its kind in the country, comes at a time when religion-based schools in the increasing number of states where gay marriage is legal have been scrutinizing hiring and employment practices to ensure they conform with the pillars of their faiths.

And properly so. If this is indeed the first of its kind in the country, it signals that a new front is being opened in the war on dissent from the New Sexual Orthodoxy™.

He said he was told by school officials that employees recognize church doctrine, but he believed that meant participating in prayers.

This is another way of saying, “I was willfully stupid when they were speaking to me, so that I could claim later I didn’t know what they were talking about.”

Bennett’s lawyer said that he and his buddies get to decide what aspects of a religious institution qualifies for a religious exemption:

Barrett’s attorney and other supporters argue that officials at Fontbonne went too far in rescinding its offer for a job that has nothing to do with the school’s religious mission.

“There is a balance between important values, which are religious liberties, and discriminatory practices,” said Bennett Klein, a senior GLAD attorney. “This is a job that has nothing to do with religion . . . and this weighs toward discrimination.”

So a Catholic school that makes clear its employees have to support Catholic doctrine has to distinguish between those that doing jobs that are “religious” and those that aren’t. Klein goes on to list some of the others that shouldn’t have to support and live according to said doctrine:

Massachusetts lists sexual orientation among other characteristics such as race and gender under the state’s antidiscrimination laws. Klein said the state law grants certain exceptions for things like “ministerial” duties, but he argued that it would cross the line to include the position of food services director.

Likewise, he argued, schools across the country have gone too far in firing teachers, music directors, and sports coaches.

“We’re seeing religion-affiliated entities more and more trying to push the line toward discriminating against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people,” he said.

So pretty much no one except the chaplain at a Catholic school has to accept and live according to Catholic teaching, because for the school to do otherwise might actually give its students the idea that their alma mater takes seriously its mission to uphold Catholic teaching.

It’s getting deeper every day, folks.

(Via Mass Resistance, which, by the way, is listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to MR’s credit.)

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It looks like he has a pretty good chance of winning his case, but what will he win? The Catholic Church may have to close its schools, and that may be the ultimate goal.

[1] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-5-2014 at 04:20 PM · [top]

The thing is, absent the public claim of marriage, he probably would have gotten the job, people would politely ignore the fact that he’s gay, and move on.  But Massachusetts is a bad place to oppose same-sex marriage.


[2] Posted by Words Matter on 2-5-2014 at 04:51 PM · [top]

WM, I was going to post the same link.  When I first read this report last year I had to go find some independent corroborating evidence because what is in there is almost too hard to believe.

But it is true.  And anyone who is thinking of “fairness” and “reconciliation” with brass-knuckle wielding activists better think twice.

The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church better enter this battle with everything they have.  If they don’t stop it here, it won’t stop.

And yes #1, the ultimate goal of the activists is to destroy the institutions they infect with their non-biblical behavior.

[3] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 2-5-2014 at 05:40 PM · [top]

3. The good thing is that they’re being exposed for what they’re really up to, and the more they’re exposed, the better.

[4] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-5-2014 at 07:37 PM · [top]

“Matthew Barrett thought he had found his dream job.”

No he didn’t, silly libprogs. He was floating a test case. It’s another stupid stunt like the one a few years back that the lesbians tried with the conservative Lutheran school. I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding plenty of funds to engage in this little activist hobby of his.

The thing is, it might have been a stupid blunder to go up against the RCC. They have bigger resources, and SCOTUS (should this ever get there) is predominantly Catholic. But maybe they would count it a success if they reached a more modest goal: force smaller, independent conservative schools to knuckle under, or face frivolous, spiteful lawsuits.

[5] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 2-5-2014 at 08:46 PM · [top]

On a related note, I read the following coming from a proposed resolution to the Canadian Bar Association which is intended as a shot against the possibility of a private Christian law school.  Note very carefully the bolded words.  The proposed resolution would say that law schools are prohibited from discrimination against students on the basis

race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, age or mental or physical disability, or conduct that is integral to and inseparable from identity for all persons involved in legal education…

I would expect that this will become the new boilerplate that progressives will try to insert everywhere and is targeted squarely against religious employers who expect employees to adhere to a code of behavior.

Here is a good review of the case in Canada of the proposed private Christian law school.

Like the Regent professor (quoted in my link) says - the progressives want to impose a single set of values - their values - on the rest of society.

[6] Posted by jamesw on 2-5-2014 at 10:53 PM · [top]

This strikes me as a test case, like the folks out in New Mexico (?) who went looking for a Christian baker so they could sue about a wedding cake.

[7] Posted by Katherine on 2-6-2014 at 08:39 AM · [top]

I would hope that Catholic employers will start using all the tools at their disposal to review all variety of social media participation, public records, memberships, credit reports, and doing lots more thorough background checks early in the process so that these on-paper promising candidates get weeded out before they even make it to the first interview.

[8] Posted by polycarp on 2-6-2014 at 04:18 PM · [top]

So I suppose my wife should sue the neighborhood Catholic school for telling her (politely) that she shouldn’t even apply for a teaching position because she was Protestant.

[9] Posted by Nikolaus on 2-6-2014 at 07:53 PM · [top]

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