Brooklyn Diocese fires gay music teacher Matthew LaBanca after marriage

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The Brooklyn Diocese fired a gay teacher in Queens earlier this month after officials discovered he had married another man and appointed him minister to exploit a loophole that allows religious institutions to circumvent the law on employment, according to The New York Times. Matthew LaBanca, a former music teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy and music director at Corpus Christi Church, has no formal religious training. He did not preach or educate religiously in any of his positions. But he was fired on October 13 after marrying his longtime boyfriend on August 1.

Although discrimination by employers on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal, religious institutions have the discretion to fire employees in ministerial positions if they do not uphold the values ​​of the faith. In a statement to Times, the diocese called LaBanca a “music teacher and pastor” and said he had violated the terms of his teaching contract. In response, LaBlanca said that “minister” is “a strong label for what I do”. School and church officials have reportedly taken an unprecedented six weeks to discuss LaBanca’s dismissal. A Change.org petition circulated by school and church communities demanding his reappointment to both posts has collected more than 4,000 signatures.

Read it on The New York Times

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