Charlotte, N.C., Jan 17, 2017 / 17:02 pm
A lawsuit against a Catholic high school claims that it was illegal discrimination to fire a teacher for contracting a same-sex civil marriage, but a law professor suggests the case will not make any progress.
“What they're trying to do is they're trying to make new law in this case,” Prof. Robert Destro told CNA. “I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't get their case dismissed.”
Destro, a law professor of the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, served 16 years on the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights.
Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina and the Diocese of Charlotte faces a lawsuit from a substitute teacher who says he was fired after he posted about his same-sex wedding on Facebook.
The Charlotte, N.C. high school is part of the diocesan school system.
Lonnie Billard had begun working at the school in 2001 as a full time faculty member. He taught English and drama. He said he brought his partner to school events and their relationship was known to students, teachers, parents and administrators. He retired in 2012 and became a long-term substitute teacher.
In October 2014 he posted a wedding announcement on Facebook. An assistant principal at the school then told him he would no longer be hired as a substitute teacher. The suit claimed that the diocese ordered his termination because of his announcement.
In January 2015 diocesan communications director David Hains said that continued employment of Billard would be “legitimating that relationship” and wrongly indicate Church approval, the lawsuit said.