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Massachusetts

Complaint: Catholic school rescinded job offer after learning applicant was gay

Thursday, January 30, 2014

BOSTON — A Boston man says in a complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination that a Roman Catholic school rescinded a job offer after finding out he was married to another man.

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett, 43, said he landed his dream job when Fontbonne Academy in Milton hired him as food services director last July.

Barrett says the offer was rescinded two days later when the head of school realized Barrett had listed his spouse as his emergency contact.

“If I’m planning and making meals for students, I’m not sure what my being gay has to do with the job,” said Barrett.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which is representing Barrett in the complaint filed Thursday, says the school violated state anti-discrimination laws.

“Religiously affiliated entities do not have a free pass to do as they please in how they treat employees, particularly when it comes to our important laws against discrimination,” said Bennett Klein, GLAD Senior Attorney.

“Our laws carefully balance the important values of religious liberty and non-discrimination,” said Klein, in a statement. When Fontbonne Academy fired Matt from a job that has nothing to do with religion, they came down on the wrong side of the law.”

Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls high school, released a statement to The Boston Globe saying it does not comment on personnel matters or on pending or threatened litigation.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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129 more reader comments:

  1. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Why are we subsidizing their hate with tax exempt status.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:32pm
  2. it isn't illegal to hate..... it only becomes illegal when you break another law based on hate

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:58pm
  3. Hate and discrimination have no place in a catholic church. If they insist on preaching to members to vote a certain way - they should no longer have a tax excempt status.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:49pm
  4. Hear, hear.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:25pm
  5. They wonder why the church is becoming less relevant

    Replied on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 2:03am
  6. But Rose..hate and discrimination has always been a part of the catholic church.

    Replied on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9:07am
  7. Trolling a job offer, come on what else did he expect from the Catholic Church. Super Bigots that they are

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:34pm
  8. He could serve me food anytime.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:34pm
  9. Sue their asses!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:35pm
  10. So much negativeness in the world. WHY DOES THIS CONTINUE HAPPENING ????

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:35pm
  11. I’m born catholic and ashamed of their rules and dumb ass politics.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:36pm
  12. No one is "born" religious. It's a learned thing. People ARE born gay. :)

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:43pm
  13. Born or brought up Catholic...you got the jest of what I meant...WRONG, no one is 'born' gay. Someone's sexual orientation is decided within 1 year after birth.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:58pm
  14. Wait how did you come to that conclusion, can you post a source to back that up. I'm really curious, because i've never heard that one.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:21pm
  15. I know for myself that I was not 'born' gay. What happens in the initial 6 months to 1 year is the formation of sexual orientation in a human being. (I speak for myself).

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:49pm
  16. But what if he fed the girls got chicken nuggets! Please! I agree – sue their butts off!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:37pm
  17. These bigots are getting worse by the day. I’m also born catholic, and so ashamed of these priests and rules.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:37pm
  18. Gay bashing bigots.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:38pm
  19. Its time all these faux religous organizations start paying their fare share of taxes..tax the fucking bigots!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:39pm
  20. I’m not saying it’s right, but they ARE a religiously exempt institution and can choose to hire/fire based on whatever beliefs they feel holds water that day. I personally would never apply for a job at a place that would consider me a second class citizen, but I know that in advance. Honestly, is this really a huge surprise with all the people that have been fired recently for coming out as not straight or marrying their same sex partner?

    Again, NOT saying it’s right or that I agree with it, but unfortunately it is completely legal for them to do that and their church changing needs to come from within. No amount of us standing on the outside screaming will make a bit of difference.

    I do have high hopes with the new pope that there will be a more tolerant attitude from the church within the next ten years.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:40pm
  21. Yeah cuz that’s what Jesus would fucken do

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:40pm
  22. Tax the asshats

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:40pm
  23. I am also catholic ( not practising ) and am ashamed to be one. Now I bet if he was a paedophile, they would have welcomed him with open arms.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:40pm
  24. What crap. Sick of this. Hope he sues their asses and gets millions!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:41pm
  25. If you are applying for anything Catholic you should already know that discrimination is imminent. Gay guys can cook so they missed out!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:42pm
  26. And the Church should know, their Bigotry will end up costing them a few Churches if they continue to discriminate.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:11pm
  27. Of course they did. Because religion.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:43pm
  28. Vomitus to the Maximus on the rediculous bad behavior of some sad ass people. I vote give his job to him.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:44pm
  29. Stupid people are stupid. Bigotry is stupid.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:44pm
  30. i am not supprised at all

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:45pm
  31. Sue the bastards.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:46pm
  32. I would hire him!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:46pm
  33. Also that sucks because my hubby is from Mass & we’re we’re moving back in a few yrs. Now not so sure if bigotry ass faces will be in high amount.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:46pm
  34. He should take them to court and totally destroy them.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:46pm
  35. I do not know why he did. They should have looked at everything BEFORE they offered him the job, is mostly my point, not give the job and take it away.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:47pm
  36. A gay man would be a perfect fit in an all girls setting; no pedophilia! Is THAT was is disturbing the school administration?!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:49pm
  37. Hope they sack gay priests too.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:49pm
  38. I do not understand how church group preach love etc and do something like this. Hate is very much evident in the church.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:50pm
  39. The church has more homosexuals then they are willing to admit.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:51pm
  40. They have more pedophiles than they are willing to admit.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:10pm
  41. Probably more than half the cardinals are gay.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:07pm
  42. They must be self-loathing closet cases, because I don't see any of them pursuing positive changes for the Catholic Church.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:42pm
  43. If they looked hard the church would have no music program if the GAY'S all left

    Replied on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 2:01am
  44. Sue them till the church bells ring

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:52pm
  45. Persecuting gays for 1,800 years. Ah, the love and tolerance.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:56pm
  46. Thanks, Please like on our page

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:56pm
  47. Folks, ‘Sexual Orientation’ and ‘Gender Identity’ are not protected classes at the federal level and most states do not provide that protection either. So…. maybe instead of bashing any company … just saying…..maybe you need to start writing weekly letters to your state and federal representatives to get the laws amended….. and…. become catholic or whatever religion and let the people, that want to shun us, see that we are just as normal as they….. then we can change society from within…..

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:57pm
  48. Sorry, there's no legitimate reason to do so.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:13pm
  49. no legitimate reason to do what?

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:17pm
  50. you already know they discriminate, move on and their loss.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:58pm
  51. WHY IS THIS A SURPRISE TO ANYONE….THEY ARE HOLIER THEN THOU

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:58pm
  52. did yall forget about AIDS ??????????????

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:59pm
  53. What does AIDS have to do with getting a job in food service?

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:55pm
  54. I agree with the comment about the priests. I know 4 who are and they still have their jobs. Cheryl that’s just stupid what you said.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:01pm
  55. Nobody is born Catholic or any other sect. They are indoctrinated at a very very young age just like the same people claim gays do to children which couldn’t be further from the truth. WTF

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:01pm
  56. Cut tax exemptions from religious organizations. Why do why get special treatment? Nothing more than legal money laundering.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:02pm
  57. Didn’t you know? Eating food provided by homosexuals can cause children to become that way.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:03pm
  58. Lawsuits are great for this type of treatment.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:04pm
  59. They can, of course, hire whomever they want. He was the best qualified, or they would not have hired him. So their loss.My point is once they gave him the job, he should have had it.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:05pm
  60. When will our LGBTQ community realize that the catholics do not support you. Even if they act like they do they still support their “church”, thus they do not truly support you.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:13pm
  61. Because we all know he will turn the girls into lesbians by putting something in the food right?

    This is so insane. The job has nothing to do with Jesus – it’s freakin food!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:15pm
  62. Trash all the religious shit!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:16pm
  63. Why do religious insinuation get tax exemptions, and get the right to discriminate against people?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:19pm
  64. How they protect their Pedophile priests though. Having same sex with another adult they can’t tolerate but having same sex with a child they sweep it under the rug.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:20pm
  65. sue the fuck out of the school .. you cant be fired or offer rescinded b ecuz your gay.. its a hate thing.. its called discrimanation

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:26pm
  66. Unless he unable to make five fish and two loaves feed the whole school he shouldn’t have been sacked. That is in the job description isn’t it? Because of course that happened.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:30pm
  67. When will people learn, it’s kind of ignorant to be employed or seek employment by a religious group…entitled and legally allowed to discriminate against those who do not support their religious structure/code?

    I’m gay. I would NEVER work or apply to work for a Catholic school, church, or organization. Equally, as we enjoy freedom of religion…which means those very same religious institutions are allowed to keep you away or throw you out if you’re not spreading their “word,” there is nothing illegal about it.

    Why not work for an organization that values DIVERSITY? More of those than these.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:31pm
  68. Where do they draw the line. What if gays work for the power, sewer, and water companies, will they stop using those services too?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:32pm
  69. Is it me, or does it seem like after the first firing, other schools seem to be doing the same thing across america?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:34pm
  70. Sorry but as a Gay person myself I would know not to apply to of all places a Catholic Church for a job.
    I understand we shouldn’t have to tolerate intolerance but we know it’s there so until it’s not being outraged or surprised by the outcome is part of the problem.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:35pm
  71. Churches won’t be exempt from discrimination laws much longer. Especially, now that the Ninth Circuit ruled sexual orientation warrants heightened scrutiny. Making Gay and Lesbian Americans a protected class, along side race and gender.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:52pm
  72. But the pope tells us to embrace gay people,I guess the already have their quota,with the staff

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 4:53pm
  73. The RCChuch is an ass

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:06pm
  74. ass’es anatomy.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:06pm
  75. Why aren’t these people following the Pope’s example?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:09pm
  76. Maybe they should start listening to Pope Francis’ message of love and inclusiveness and stop being freaking judgemental Pharisees!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:14pm
  77. pope likes men..whats the big deal?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:22pm
  78. I was a child boy for the church. Priest frequently raped many of the boys, including me.
    My own father raped me at the age of five. The church gets away with whatever they do, because they protect each other.
    I did not realize I had any affection for men until I was 22, and I have not been with a minor, because it sickens me to think about happen to me as a child.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:23pm
  79. just another example of religion’s loving behavior

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:25pm
  80. Why are people putting themselves in this position in the first place? It’s a religious school, of course they are bigots. I can no longer become upset about these types of disputes involving our community and Catholics; they don’t support us and the law is on their side. We should just avoid them and leave them to their religious induced bigotry.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:25pm
  81. I'm more worried about how they found out he was, in fact, Gay. Are our bosses snooping through our mail or something?

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:58pm
  82. Perhaps employers are digging into information we don't even know we're exposing!

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:58pm
  83. Just don’t apply for a job there is the first place! A religious organization should not be forced to hirer a person who does not live up to that churches standards.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:46pm
  84. Just imagine how yummy those school lunches would have been…

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:49pm
  85. Catholics are deranged, Can’t understand thrir perverse hatred of gay people.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:50pm
  86. I want the discrimination to stop

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:53pm
  87. Hope he fights it.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:54pm
  88. Reprehensible

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:58pm
  89. Discrimination never stops, believe me. Even when the black were free to go to a white school and now these days. People will and have discriminated against them. I have seen it many times, have experienced it, and now still defend against it.
    Religious people of the church is out for the almighty dollar and they are exempt from paying taxes. That’s all what they care about, not there almighty.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:02pm
  90. you can’t do that!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:04pm
  91. how the hell are they made aware of sexual orientation? is that now part of background checks or something?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:05pm
  92. Despicable and outrageous.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:08pm
  93. Fucking idiot Catholics.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:43pm
  94. it is not possible!!!! we have rights!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:50pm
  95. Catholics can go F themselves!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:51pm
  96. I believe the LGBT community should create exclusive job opportunities for one another. The fields should be as varied as the rainbow and should establish Gay-Worker unions to boot.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:53pm
  97. So much ado about Gay-Marriage. Look beyond that. Historically, Gay people have existed since the BC era. So, let's focus more attention toward job creation in our communities. There's strength in numbers.

    Replied on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:55pm
  98. Darrell Dailey you are right. We need our own institutions. I have written HRC, Courage Campaign and others for formation of a LGBT Credit Union for years. No one is interested. Lots of money in our community. All credit unions are non profit. Why not fund our own loans and keep our own money on deposit. So many others have, church CUs, Latino CUs, and even Target has its own CU. Just saying.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:04pm
  99. They Need To Stop The Hate

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:08pm
  100. Take away their tax exempt status NOW!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:21pm
  101. And what about all the pedophilic priests of the Catholic church that sodomized, raped and sexually abused thousands of little children mostly boys for the last few thousand years at least? What hypocrits.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:45pm
  102. Past time for the Roman Catholic Church to start paying taxes and that goes for any other church that discriminates and uses the pulpit for political purposes.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:56pm
  103. I agree with Steven! Judgement? What would the Pope say?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7:59pm
  104. Why do we allow the Catholics ANY rights?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:01pm
  105. doesn’t sound very christian to me…………………….

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:03pm
  106. Shame

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:15pm
  107. Tragic. And the law suit is absolutely right and necessary.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:43pm
  108. So its cool to have Pedofiles on the payroll…ones that do it in secret and are kept protected by that same very institution that condemns a man who is simply living an understood life…Not hiding in the shadows.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:48pm
  109. It’s their right to do so, and there’s nothing wrong with it as long as they have that right. They issue is that they have the f****ng right to discriminate like that. If they are going to make legal discriminations they should have to pay taxes, that’s my two cents.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 8:58pm
  110. Sue those feckers!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:51pm
  111. In light of the pope’s recent statements, I’m sure Mr. Barrett’s attorneys will remind the Fontbonne staff of the boss’ viewpoint — and maybe the Holy Father will call the school to remind them.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:31pm
  112. Oh really? Fanatics are so vile!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:36pm
  113. Why are Churches above the Law ?? And subsidised by the State & given Tax Breaks ??

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:22pm
  114. Oy! I’m more shocked that folks are surprised lol

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:46pm
  115. Glad he had the courage to stand up for his rights!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:06am
  116. give a couple years the new pope is starting a big fight about a lot of crap this stuff being part of it

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:19am
  117. Oh brother!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:55am
  118. Typical RCC behavior.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:56am
  119. That’s illegal! Among other things….Yeah! Sue them!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:58am
  120. Guess that whole “love thy neighbour” thing that is written in a certain book is a bit difficult to process for some of these twits. You do not have exceptions. You either love thy neighbour or you are going against the word of your god and not quite as holy as you think you are.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 3:56am
  121. I am so sick of these clueless people.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:41am
  122. Of course, now he can’t cook is that it, what idiots…..and they claim to be people of a loving God? Sad

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 6:09am
  123. Never trust a catholic!!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:01am
  124. I’m sure this is OK because the Catholic Church is doing it! (Ha). Hopefully a major lawsuit will ensue to teach a lesson.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8:52am
  125. Religion in general sucks and catholics are the biggest wieners of them all.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9:06am
  126. just discrimination– should NOT be subsidized!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:54pm
  127. Sue them for discremation this has got to stop

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:49pm
  128. that skools fucked !!!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 2:47pm
  129. Bigoted asses!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 10:16pm