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Ohio

Catholic school choir director forced to resign following engagement to partner

Monday, January 13, 2014

SANDUSKY, Ohio — A Catholic school in Sandusky, Ohio, has forced its band and choir director to resign after school officials learned he and his boyfriend recently became engaged to be married.

Brian Panetta (left) and Nathan David

Brian Panetta (left) and Nathan David

Brian Panetta said he initially received a letter of termination Jan. 3, which stated he was fired for violating the moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church, reported the Sandusky Register.

But after meeting last week with school administrators, a priest and representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, Panetta said he was allowed to resign instead of having a termination on his record.

Panetta and his fiancé, Nathan David, began dating while attending the University of Dayton five years ago. They plan to wed in July 2015.

Their relationship wasn’t a secret to the Sandusky Central Catholic School community, as David often attended school events and met several students and their families, Panetta said.

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All Sandusky Central Catholic School employees must sign a contract stating they will live a lifestyle according to the Catholic faith, he said.

“I knew if we ever wanted to get married, it would limit my time teaching at the school I love,” Panetta said. “When I met with the diocese, they basically told me my engagement is a public statement of my support for equality for gay marriage, which the Catholic Church does not support.”

Panetta, who was in his fifth year at Sandusky Central, distributed a letter to the school community on Friday that announced his resignation and his engagement to David, in which he referred to himself a “proud and gay Catholic.”

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45 more reader comments:

  1. At a CATHOLIC school? Really? Noooooooooo.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:05pm
  2. See,RELIGION KILLS

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:06pm
  3. Lol

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:07pm
  4. Leave those bigits!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:08pm
  5. I grew up Catholic, but have no use for that religion any longer. They’re a bunch of hypocrites!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:09pm
  6. WTF?!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:09pm
  7. So sad

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:10pm
  8. burn that fucking school to the ground!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:10pm
  9. At the rate the RC schools are firing gay choir directors and lesbian athletic coaches they will soon not have a choir or a team.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:11pm
  10. BULLSHIT

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:11pm
  11. I mean..you teach at a catholic school and this is what you’re gonna get. We can’t be surprised anymore, can we?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:13pm
  12. What a shame.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:15pm
  13. And the hypo-Christians strike again!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:16pm
  14. I grew up Catholic and my Priest was awesome! He had a gay support group in the church basement until the Diocese shut it down. He was always doing progressive things and getting reamed. He was a Priest for the people! Some may be corrupt in the Catholic church but, those with REAL FAITH, are NOT! We can NOT put blame on the innocent! That would be as bad as saying we’re to blame for the decisions of our government-NOT!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:17pm
  15. Why do queer people want to work at Catholic schools? Yeesh…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:18pm
  16. The band and choir director at my public school was heterosexual. He was also whatever the male heterosexual equivalent of a chickenhawk is, as he slept with one of his students. He was fired, thus sparing us the horrible trauma of a straight music teacher (he was the only straight music teacher I ever had – I suppose I figured he was hired for affirmative action… ;) ).

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:21pm
  17. And this is why there should be laws in place to protect people from such ridiculous things. Up here the Human Rights Tribunal would be called in so fast it would make your head spin.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:23pm
  18. Fucking religious psychopaths you are all just an evil cult. If the bible told you all to drink poison would you? No you fucking pick and choose what sins you don’t like. You’re not going to stone a woman to death for becoming pregnant before marriage are you?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:25pm
  19. By the way what is the name of this school

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:25pm
  20. Sandusky Central Catholic School.

    Replied on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:16pm
  21. Thats so sad. Fire a teacher that actually loves his job. Makes me so sad for him. Keep your head up. There will be a better job out there who will not discriminate against you. XOXO There are many people who support you.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:27pm
  22. Let me get this straight: You are god. The One and Only. Pure Love. That which was not created.

    You are omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscience. But you want me to worship you in a particular, finite, narrow-minded way handed down over two millenia ago. If I do not use my free will, which you gave me, to worship and love you unconditionally, strictly on faith, you will make sure that I spend eternity suffering endless, merciless torture for my decision to ignore you.

    So you are omnidictatorial, omniegocentric, omnisadistic, and omnipsychopathic, too.

    Where does the love part of your being come in?
    Promise of damnation does not constitute Love.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:29pm
  23. Oh fucking well why are we still surprised at these morons? They believe in a book that was written in a 1600 year span by over 40 different authors based on even older fables translated so many times we have no idea of it’s original meaning, and lol they believe in this thing. So why are we surprised when crazy people make crazy choices smh

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:32pm
  24. Remember… cookies, cake and ice cream are awaiting at the atheist counter. ;)

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:34pm
  25. tired of the catholics getting a pass. This is discrimination. Churches need to be paying taxes and obeying the laws period. Why the hell should they get a pass?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:35pm
  26. Fucking assholes!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:36pm
  27. Damn Catholics.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:38pm
  28. as sad as it is – there are sure to be many more as more of us marry.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:21pm
  29. Don’t ya just LUV the Catholic’s?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:42pm
  30. Way to go Catholics…teaching that love your neighbor and don’t judge others really well.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:48pm
  31. Congrats and Mazel Tov and continue being the cure and NOT the sickness! You deserve better!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:52pm
  32. sorry to say but fuck the school/church and enjoy the life you have with each other, what’s more important is the person next to you !!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:57pm
  33. Glad the choir stood up for him but sorry it happened – inexcusble

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:21pm
  34. Gay and religion don’t mix.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:21pm
  35. Can we say . Lawsuit!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:23pm
  36. And they wonder why opinions on religion are so low…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:27pm
  37. I thought Catholics motto is “All are welcome here in this place”.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:29pm
  38. Tax the Catholic Church!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:36pm
  39. Whatever they do, if you guys are destined thats what matters most. Keep on loving

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:39pm
  40. So sweet…Who says the age of Romance is dead?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:39pm
  41. Lots of Roman Catholic men are in love with Christ – a man.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:48pm
  42. It’s a damn Catholic Church. What the hell do you expect? It’s idiotic, not news.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:59pm
  43. I say this, It’s the School’s Loss…not his…:-)

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 12:13am
  44. Tip: Don’t work for holier-than-thou bullies.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 12:19am
  45. ???????

    Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 12:20am