A Massachusetts judge has ruled that an all-girls Catholic school in Milton, Massachusetts violated state anti-discrimination law by rescinding a job offer to a gay man in a same-sex marriage.
Matthew Barrett was offered a job as Fontbonne Academy’s food services director, but the offer was withdrawn after he listed his husband as his emergency contact and the school realized that he was gay.
Barrett sued. A judge ruled Wednesday that the school discriminated against him based on sexual orientation and gender. The judge rejected Fontbonne’s claim that it should be exempt from the law because it would infringe on free exercise of religion. The Catholic church opposes same-sex marriage.
Norfolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins rejected that argument, ruling that the exemption within the nondiscrimination law does not apply, because Fontbonne accepts non-Catholic students and employees, regardless of their faith. According to Wilkins, the religious exemption only applies to organizations that limit membership or admission to members of a certain religion This follows the tenets in the 1964 Civil Rights Acts that ONLY allows religious institutions to favor people of the organizations faith over all other faiths.
Additionally, Wilkins ruled that the First Amendment’s protections for religious expression did not apply to the case, as hiring a food service worker who happened to be married to a same-sex spouse would not interfere with Fontbonne’s ability to express its opposition to same-sex marriages
Fontbonne’s attorney did not return phone calls from this news-site seeking comment