Court Defends Church’s Freedom Against Fired Gay Employee
BY TYLER O’NEIL JUNE 12, 2017
In a victory for religious freedom, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago against a former employee, Colin Collette. Collette sued the church for discrimination last year after being fired as a result of announcing his same-sex “engagement” on Facebook in 2014.
“Colin Collette knew what the house rules of the Catholic Church were before he announced his ‘engagement’ to his boyfriend in 2014, so he should not have been surprised when the parish he worked for fired him,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue declared in a statement praising the ruling. When Collette was dismissed in 2014, then-Archbishop of Chicago Francis Cardinal George said the gay man was fired for his “participation in a form of union that cannot be recognized as a sacrament by the Church.”
Collette, who served as music director at Holy Family Catholic Community for 17 years …
On April 18, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas P. Kocoras ruled against Collette, dismissing the lawsuit and upholding the church’s religious freedom over hiring and firing. (The decision was announced last week.) Kocoras rooted the church’s freedom in the First Amendment, but he also cited the 2012 Supreme Court case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC.
This lawsuit was so fundamentally wrong it should never have gone to trial, and from the fact that the judge dismissed the lawsuit, it may not have. If gay activists or an ACLU-type group are behind this lawsuit, it could go all the way to the USSC.
The article doesn’t mention this case as having been cited by Judge Kocoras, but it’s virtually identical to the Collette case.