Catholicism

Catholic School Forces Out Gay Music Teacher Because of His Engagement

Sandusky Central Catholic School in Sandusky, Ohio fired music director Brian Panetta on Jan. 3 for violating the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Panetta later met with the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, which agreed he could resign instead.

At issue is Panetta becoming engaged to marry his partner, David Nathan, in July 2015.

The music teacher, who calls himself a "proud and gay Catholic," says he never hid his relationship with Nathan from the Sandusky Central Catholic School during his four and a half year tenure.

"I knew if we ever wanted to get married, it would limit my time teaching at the school I love," Panetta told the Sandusky Register last Friday. "When I met with the diocese, they basically told me my engagement is a public statement of my support for equality for gay marriage, which the Catholic Church does not support."

Panetta recently sent a letter to parents and students announcing his resignation:

It is with heavy heart and great remorse that I find myself stepping down from my position as Director and Coordinator of Music at Sandusky Central Catholic School.

I am, however, proud to announce that over Christmas Break I accepted a proposal of engagement to my partner of five years. As a proud and gay Catholic, I understand the Church’s teachings on marriage and agree that my engagement is a public statement of my position for marriage equality, which the Catholic Church does not yet support. I am hopeful to see change in the future, but until then I am praying for strength and understanding and encourage my students to do the same.

According to The Advocate, the school released its own letter:

It is with great sadness that we extend to you that Mr. Brian Panetta has resigned his position today as director and coordinator of music at Sandusky Central Catholic School. Although parting ways is never easy, especially in the midst of a school year, we would like to thank Mr. Panetta for his devotion and service to the school, and the gifts and talents he brought to the music program.

Sources: Sandusky Register and The Advocate

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