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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A gay teacher has sued a Roman Catholic school in North Carolina for firing him after he announced his wedding to a man.

The lawsuit argues Charlotte Catholic High School violated federal employment law by firing Lonnie Billard from a substitute teaching role in 2014. Billard was informed of his termination after a Facebook post about his wedding.

A diocese spokesman declined comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit says the firing violates prohibitions against discrimination under the federal Title VII law.

The federal Equal Opportunity Commission says on its website that religious organizations can give employment preference to members of the faith but can’t otherwise discriminate against protected classes of people.

While Wednesday’s lawsuit doesn’t invoke North Carolina law, it comes amid debate over a state law limiting protections for LGBT people.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

1/11/2017 12:16:32 PM (GMT -5:00)


Comment on this Story

  • Alex

    This is not a question of LGBT rights. This is a question of whether the termination was a violation of federal law. North Carolina is an at-will state. This means your employer can terminate you, without notice, for no reason at all – AS LONG AS such an action does not violate state and/or federal law. You can get fired because my nephew wants your job or because we don’t like your nose, which is unfair but not illegal. However, discrimination against a protected class is ALWAYS illegal. Many people (employers included) misunderstand and think that at-will employment gives employers complete freedom and immunity from the law. It does not.

  • David Mitchell

    Boy Christopher, you’re really grasping at straws here. Want to put a hundred bucks on whether or not his lawsuit succeeds? If so, I’m your man!

    • I doubt you’ll ever even hear anything about this lawsuit again. Besides, I don’t need your hundred clams.
      You should seriously consider taking some basic courses on law before you go wasting your money so easily!

  • Good! Anyone who refuses to accept the LGBTQ agenda needs to be bankrupted through costly lawsuits! Submit to us or be destroyed, you bigots!!

    • Hospice Chaplain

      I have NEVER observed so much hate from someone who calls themselves a “Warrior4SocialJustice. You remind me of the Borg or the Daleks. “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.” “Exterminate, exterminate”.

    • cheese101

      Thank you troll but keep this in mind, NC is an at will work state.

      • Vog46

        cheese the lawsuit was filed under FEDERAL law


      • cheese101

        Great, keep in mind NC is an at will work state.

      • Vog46

        NC’s at will work laws do not apply to discrimination lawsuits only federal laws do.


      • cheese101

        Unless they came out and said you are fired because you are gay, NC is still an at will work state.

      • Vog46

        The guys claiming discrimination which is an oblique way of saying they fired him cause he’s gay.
        But the Church will just transfer a priest who violates little boys.
        I hope this guys wins a billion dollars….


      • cheese101

        And I can claim Obama was the best president we’ve ever had. Just because I claim it doesn’t make it a true statement. Just like the State Farm commercial, not everything online is true.

      • Vog46

        The lawsuit was filed in FED court not state court so NC at will laws don’t apply

      • cheese101

        And yet again, as long as they didn’t say you are fired because you are gay, no violation occurred. NC is still an at will work state.

    • nonesun

      Because the medical.surgical industry is scrambling to find some way to incorporate massive amounts of coverage for elective procedures despite the fact that humans who are born truly intergendered (with the characteristics of both sexes) report that sex reassignment surgery has caused them nothing but serious long term problems.End lobbying by plastic surgeons, and you will see this movement die down.

    • Hey “warrior”, do you really believe one disgruntled queer has the ability to bankrupt the Catholic church? The only thing he’s going to “bankrupt” will be himself! Simple accusations don’t go very far in a courtroom, but you should already be aware of that with your experience.

    • Bryan Leonard

      So you expect tolerance by being intolerant and hostile to those you disagree with? If it weren’t for double standards, I guess you would have no standards at all.

  • There’s no proof that he was fired because he was marrying another man. He was probably late a lot, likely was an under-performer, excessive absences. Plus, he was only a substitute. May not have been needed any longer. He going to waste a lot of money he doesn’t have on a lawsuit that has no basis. Best go find some work someplace and quit your silly belly-achin’!

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