HRC Blog

Openly Gay Teacher Files Gender Discrimination Suit against Catholic School

WorkplaceA former music teacher at a Catholic school in Macon, Georgia, recently filed a claim after he was allegedly let go for being gay.

In the claim, music teacher Flint Dollar contends that he signed a contract on May 1 for 2014-2015 school year and was then fired onMay 21. Dollar says he informed school administrators that he was publicly out as a gay man when he started at the school four years ago. However, he claims he was fired after he announced on Facebook that he planned to marry his longtime partner. Mount de Sales Academy is a school run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.

Dollar said in an interview with NPR, "I was told that ... the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah called and expressed his concern that if I was to return it would be against the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Since there are currently no federal laws or state laws in Georgia that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Dollar’s attorney has filed a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII prohibits discrimination by covered employers of sex, as well as race, color, religion or national origin.

Dollar's lawyer, Charles Cox, explained to NPR, "When you fire somebody because they are engaging in a same-sex marriage, I think that pretty clearly fits with gender discrimination … You're being fired because you're not complying with traditional gender stereotypes, and that's wrong, and we believe it's unlawful."

Earlier this year HRC delivered a letter to the Vatican on behalf of nine teachers who have lost their jobs, including Dollar, at Catholics Schools for either being LGBT, or supporting an LGBT family member. The letter followed harsh actions by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, who took anti-LGBT to a new level, calling not only for the firing of gay and lesbian school employees, but also citing support of the “homosexual lifestyle” as grounds for dismissal.  More than 2,200 educators at 94 parochial schools in the archdiocese have been affected by this new contract. 

Non-discrimination policies, benefits and other practices that include LGBT workers are essential for businesses as they compete for talent and customers. Click here to learn more about the work HRC is doing to provide employers with the resources they need to improve and promote fairness in the workplace.

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