Educator says Catholic job offer was withdrawn after speculation that he is gay

Details of a surprising discrimination claim, from Wisconsin: 

A day after Regis Catholic Schools announced Tim Nelson would not become its next president, he charged that Regis officials pulled the job offer based on speculation he may be gay.

Nelson, 48, who was announced April 4 as the choice to lead the local private school system, said Friday he was “flabbergasted” when system officials informed him nearly three weeks later they intended to revoke his contract because of concerns about his sexual orientation.

“The whole thing is based on assumptions, innuendo and speculation,” an obviously upset Nelson said by telephone from New Mexico, where he has worked as supervising principal of a group of American Indian community schools for the past eight years.

Regis denied the allegations Friday in a statement.

“Regis Catholic Schools denies that any assumptions, insinuations or speculation played a part in its decision to not hire Mr. Nelson,” the statement said. “Furthermore, Regis Catholic Schools categorically denies that sexual orientation was a part in its decision. Mr. Nelson’s speculation is unfounded and untrue.”

But Nelson, who was excited about the prospect of leading the parochial school system he attended through his junior year of high school, claimed Regis officials made it clear in several conversations they were concerned about the perception he may be gay and what impact that might have on the system…

…The Rev. Brian Konopa, pastoral dean of Regis schools, broke the news about “serious issues that have come to the forefront” in a telephone call on April 17, or 13 days after Nelson had been introduced as the next Regis president, Nelson said.

Regis officials indicated someone had given them information showing that a man’s name was listed in parentheses behind Nelson’s in the survivor list of his father’s obituary 2½ years ago, and they told him that is typically the way a gay partner is listed in an obituary, Nelson said.

Nelson said he explained to Konopa that he considered the man his best friend and that the man was close to Nelson’s family.

“I said, ‘If you think we are intimate or sexually active, you’ve got another think coming.’ We are not like that at all,” Nelson recalled telling Konopa…

There’s much more, including an alternative explanation from Regis at the link.  


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