[ View the story "Alumnae react to Catholic high school's refusal to hire openly gay man" on Storify] Alumnae react to Catholic high school's refusal to hire openly gay man Calls to end alleged discrimination case at Boston-area academy spread through social media.
AJAMStream· Mon, Feb 03 2014 14:43:05
Barrett v Fontbonne Academy Mcad Complaint 1-30-14
“I believe I was terminated, in violation of Massachusetts law, because I am gay,” Barrett wrote.
gay marriage since 2004, when the state’s Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been
in the state since 1989.
Besides forming the Facebook group to support Barrett, Fontbonne alumnae are publicly sharing their views with local Boston outlets. For example, Christa Labouliere’s open letter called the action “outright bigotry.”
That is why hundreds of alumnae were appalled to learn of the alleged discriminative behavior of the current administration toward Mr. Matthew Barrett. Regardless of Catholic doctrine, everyone deserves the same basic human rights, and rescinding a job offer to a gay man who would not be in any sort of proselytizing role is not “religious freedom;” it is outright bigotry.boston.com
Other alumnae took to Facebook and Twitter.
As an alum, this bums me out and surprises me. The "church" continues to isolate and insulate itself. I can say that there is a lot of sadness and outrage among alumnae and I think FBA will hear about it. We had gay teachers when I was there, I guess the fact that they didn't have to write it on a document of employment meant it was ok…?Karyn McNeil Viveiros
I have never been ashamed of my education until right now. I'm sorry on behalf of all Fontbonne women. http://t.co/mVuXW9gVRDeec
In a statement released the same day Barrett filed his grievance, Greg Chambers, the school’s assistant head, cited Catholic doctrine in defending the school’s decision to not hire Barrett.
marriage between two persons of the same sex is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church and that belief informs policies of how Fontbonne Academy and all Catholic schools are to operate on this issue.patriotledger.com
Chambers also said that the school, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, sought guidance from the Archdiocese of Boston before a final decision was made.
Many online defended the school, redirecting blame from the academy to the church.
Before you say something ignorant, remember that this is a church issue, and not a Fontbonne issue.Taylor Shepherd
Don't say that fontbonne is not diverse or accepting if you don't understand the Roman Catholic Church's rules that our school must follow.Ciara_Flaherty
However, several alumnae openly pushed back against the idea that the school was completely subject to church doctrine.
@kimprobable96 I loved my 4 years at FBA doesn't excuse the fact that the head of school upheld the archdiose's stance.Jillian Butler
@kimprobable96 while disappointing, the contradiction of values & actions from FBA isn't surprising; passing the buck=easy way outMelissa Fontana
Once known for its
outlook on Catholic teachings, Fontbonne has seen a shift in philosophy, according to alumnae commenting on Barrett’s story.
#fontbonne was an accepting community when I attended and also turned a blind eye to gay teachers. Why should it be any different today.ScituatedinScit
I was at Fontbonne under Mary Baker, who was the sweetest, most lovely woman. We had at least one gay teacher, and the school didn’t hide itAMH
Fontbonne’s decision comes amid a shift toward tolerance in many Catholic circles. In 2013, Pope Francis
Catholics to be more accepting of gay men and lesbians.
They say they exist. If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?thegrio.com
What do you think about the Fontbonne decision? Share your thoughts in the comments section.