Gay organist unceremoniously fired from the church after marrying his partner
A gay organist has reportedly been fired from playing in two Irish churches after he married his same-sex partner.
The organist – who has chosen to remain anonymous – was “removed” from his post Drumcliffe Parish Church and a sister church in Munninane, both in Co Sligo, according to Church Times.
He claimed that he was removed from the post by Rector, the Ven. Isaac Hanna, because he married his partner in a civil ceremony on October 27.
The gay organist was reportedly told he wouldn’t be allowed to play any longer following his wedding.
The Rector reportedly visited his home on October 11 in advance of the wedding to state that he was “uncomfortable” with keeping him on following the ceremony. The churches are now using pre-recorded music instead.
The move prompted a strongly worded letter from former churchwarden Annie West, who wrote that she “emphatically and utterly” condemned the man’s removal, The Irish Times reported.
West said he had been discriminated against “in the most inexplicably cruel way.”
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She said the decision was made “unilaterally” and the local congregation had not been consulted.
West added that the organist is “one of the kindest and most generous faithful servants of the church” and said he had been discriminated against “in the most inexplicably cruel way.”
A former church warden hit out at the decision in an open letter.
“He played Sunday after Sunday, funerals, weddings, and special occasions, as rectors came and went, died, fired, or retired.”
When she served as church warden, she said she would hear the man practicing for hours.
“He told me he always felt he could do better and that practice makes perfect,” she continued.
She also said that he is “one of the kindest and most generous people” she knows and is “proud” to call the man and his husband her friends.
A spokeswoman told Church Times: “At a meeting convened by the Bishop of Kilmore over the present pastoral difficulties in the Drumcliffe group of parishes in Sligo, the Bishop proposed that the issues concerned are addressed in a process of mediation from outside the parish and the diocese. The Bishop is hopeful that mediation may bring about needed resolution and reconciliation.”