weddingcakeA gay music teacher who worked at a Catholic school in Missouri has been fired after a senior member of the church learned of his plans to marry his partner of 20 years in New York, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

Music teacher Al Fischer worked at St. Ann Catholic School in St. Louis for four years before his dismissal. The St Louis Post-Dispatch printed quotes from a letter they obtained in which Fischer broke the news to parents of his students. The letter encourages parents to discuss the situation with their children: “A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing. I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, ‘Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'”

Fischer’s partner, Charlie Robin, told the paper that the couple were openly gay and their relationship had not been a secret at the school where Fischer worked. It was only after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans that action was taken against him.

St. Ann’s pastor, Rev. Bill Kempf, stated  that Fischer was dismissed from his job when the parish was “informed by one of its teachers plan to unite in marriage with an individual of the same sex. With full respect of this individual’s basic human dignity, this same-sex union opposes Roman Catholic teaching as it cannot realize the full potential a marital relationship is meant to express.”

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