Al Fischer, Gay Music Teacher Fired From Catholic School, Marries Partner In New York
As The New York Times is reporting, Al Fischer and Charlie Robin celebrated their 20th anniversary as a couple with a romantic ceremony at Central Park's Bethesda Fountain on Friday, followed by tickets to see Broadway's "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert" on Saturday.
The Missouri-based Fischer, 46, was fired Feb. 17 from St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis county, where he'd worked for four years, after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese was made aware of "[Fischer's] plan to unite in marriage with an individual of the same sex," according to St. Ann's pastor. "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," Rev. Bill Kempf is quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
The St. Louis Archdiocese echoed those sentiments in a statement, saying it supports the school's action "as it is in full compliance with the Christian Witness Statement signed by every educator in the Catholic school system," according to the AP.
Once news of his dismissal hit the media, Fischer -- who said he was always open about his relationship at work -- was terminated from a second, part-time job as music director for St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Church, where he and Robin have worshiped for more than six years, because his pending nuptials had become "too public of an issue," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Still, Fischer, who told the Times he's accepted a new job at a secular private school for the fall, spoke up in defense of the people that fired him. “These are good people in a tough situation, having to toe a particular line," he is quoted as saying. "If they supported me they’d be making a statement against the tenets of the church. They signed the same witness statement that I did.”
Take a look at some other employees who were fired for being LGBT below:
Gay Music Teacher Fired After Revealing Plans To Marry Partner
A Missouri-based gay music teacher at an area Catholic school was recently dismissed from his job after authorities learned of his plans to wed his male partner of 20 years in New York. Al Fischer was reportedly fired Feb. 17, 2012 from St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County, where he'd worked for four years. Fischer did not comment directly about his dismissal, but instead referred to an email sent to his students' parents after he was terminated. "A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing," he wrote. "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's relationship was not a secret at the school, and that Fischer was only fired after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/al-fischer-gay-music-teacher-fired_n_1311324.html" target="_hplink">Read the full story here</a>.
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