A man has emerged victorious from a year long legal battle against a Catholic school after they rescinded a job offer they made after discovering that he had a husband.
According to a report in The Associated Press, Matthew Barrett successfully applied for the role of food services director back in 2013 at Fontbonne Academy, a Catholic school near Boston, Massachusetts.
However, the job offer was withdrawn several days later after Barrett listed his husband as an emergency contact with the school.
Fontbonne Academy had argued that as a Catholic school, they had the freedom to reject potential employees who do not carry the values of the Church.
Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Douglas Wilkins did not agree and ruled in favour of Barrett because he was applying for a role that consisted of preparing food, and did not involve any kind of teaching.
“As an educational institution, Fontbonne retains control over its mission and message” the Judge wrote in his verdict according to The Associated Press.
“It is not forced to allow Barrett to dilute that message, where he will not be a teacher, minister or spokesman for Fontbonne and has not engaged in public advocacy of same-sex marriage.”
According to a report from Reuters, Wilkins went on to write “He was not denied employment for any advocacy of same-sex marriage or gay rights;
“He only listed his husband as an emergency contact on a ‘new hire’ form.”
Barrett will now receive compensation for lost earnings, subject to any appeal the school launches.
The issue of how religious educational institutions in the US deal with LGBT students and parents has been raised several times this year, especially after the Supreme Court ruled to legalise same-sex marriage nationwide back in July.
Recently 27 US colleges succesfully appealed to be exempt from Title IX, a legal amendment that was originally designed to protect women from discrimination in education institutions. The colleges are now free to openly discriminate against LGBT pupils.
Also, a very prominent ‘Christian College’ refused a same-sex couple a tuition discount for military spouses because they did not recognise their relationship.