Massachusetts Superior Court Associate Justice Douglas H. Wilkins ruled that Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in the Boston suburb of Milton, violated the commonwealth’s anti-discrimination law when it rescinded its decision to hire Matt Barrett in 2013.
Barrett claims the school made the decision after he listed his husband, Ed Suplee, as his emergency contact in the paperwork he filled out after the school hired him.
“Religiously affiliated organizations do not get a free pass to discriminate against gay and lesbian people,” said Bennett Klein, a senior attorney for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Boston-based group that brought the case against the school. “When Fontbonne fired Matt from a job that has nothing to do with religion, and simply because he is married, they came down on the wrong side of the law.”
Barrett in a GLAD press release said he is “ecstatic” by the judge’s ruling.
“What happened to me was wrong, and I truly hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said Barrett.
Unfortunately, in Canada, the BNA Act (British North America Act) allowed for Catholic schools to have free control over the hiring and firing of teachers based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. If this type of discrimination happened in the public schools in Canada, the Human Rights Act would intervene and overturn any discrimination. However, the BNA Act can overturn the Human Rights Act. Not fair!