Catholic School Fires Music Teacher For Planning To Marry Same-Sex Partner

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A St. Louis County Catholic school fired its music teacher because he plans to marry his same-sex partner.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Al Fischer was let go by St. Ann Catholic School on Feb. 17 after being the music teacher there for four years.

Charlie Robin, Fischer’s partner of nearly 20 years, told the paper that Fischer was fired because a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard the wedding plans.

St. Ann’s fired Fischer not for being gay, but for marrying a man which contradicts with the Christian Witness Statement he signed that says that all who serve in Catholic education should “not take a public position contrary to the Catholic Church”. The Roman Catholic Church is against gay marriage.

“When he publicly demonstrated a life inconsistent with Catholic teaching, Al Fischer was relieved of his duties as part-time choir director at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Parish and as music teacher at St. Ann Parish School,” Angie Shelton, community relations specialist for the St. Louis Archdiocese, said in a statement to CBS St. Louis. “This is outlined in the Christian Witness Statement, which is on the first page of the Parish Employee Handbook, and is applicable to all employees of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its parishes and schools.”

Fischer did not blame the school for his firing.

“I think the word has been well spread that this is not the fault of St. Ann School or its leadership, and I want to emphasize that I get that, too,” Fischer said in a letter to school parents, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Robin hopes this can be a learning experience for the Catholic church on how to treat gays.

“Everyone involved in this process I know is committed to good,” Robin told the Post-Dispatch. “The problem is blindly following the doctrine isn’t committed to good.”

The firing came after the Supreme Court ruled in January that discrimination laws do not cover people being let go from religious-based institutions.

  • stlmom4

    My understanding is that he did not violate what he signed because he did not “publicly demonstrate” a life — he was “overheard” discussing wedding plans. Point is, was he a good teacher? Did he ever “publicly demonstrate” his relationship? Sad.

  • Mark

    My understanding is that he did publicly demonstrate his relationship. The problem was the school overlooked their policy for this individual. When the diocese found out, they said, no, that’s a violation of the terms of your contract and fired him. The correct protocol was followed at Catholic social teaching was upheld.

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