An Illinois man who was fired from his position as an employee of the Catholic Church because he is gay has been given the go ahead to sue after a federal judge rejected the Chicago Archdiocese’s motion to dismiss.
Colin Collette (above), the former music director at the Holy Family Catholic Community church in Inverness, Illinois for the last 17 years, was fired by pastor Terry Keehan in 2014 after Collette posted photos of his proposal to his long-time same-sex partner Will Nifong (right, with Collette).
At the time, Keehan told Collette that his relationship violated the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church.
In August 2014, hundreds of people attended a meeting at which most attendees voiced support for Collette. A church cantor announced his resignation because of the dismissal.
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In its motion to dismiss, the archdiocese cited the “ministerial exception,” which restricts employment discrimination claims by church ministers. However, Judge Charles Kocoras ruled that further legal arguments would be needed to determine whether the ministerial exception applies.
Watch a 2014 statement made by Collette below.