Gay man files discrimination complaint against Catholic school for refusing to hire him

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But Barrett, 43, said the offer was rescinded only two days later — once the head of school realized Barrett had listed his husband as his emergency contact, according to a complaint he was set to file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

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.

School administrators have been fired from Catholic schools and universities in Arkansas, California, New York, and Washington, among other states, after marrying their same-sex partners or announcing plans to do so.

In many cases, the administrators had signed contracts saying they agreed to live their lives according to the schools’ respective religious practices.

Barrett, a Dorchester resident who was raised Catholic, said he was never asked to sign such a contract.

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

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