Food Services Manager Says All-Girls School Fired Him For Being Gay

"[The head of school] said the Catholic religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage," says Matthew Barrett, "and that was her excuse."

A former employee at a Catholic school in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired for being gay—a violation of state anti-discrimination laws.

Matthew Barrett, 43, was offered a job in 2013 as food services director at Fontbonne Academy in Milton, a suburb outside Boston.

fontbonne academy

In court on Tuesday, Barrett stated that the offer was rescinded just days later, when he listed his husband as his emergency contact.

“[The head of school] said the Catholic religion doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, and that was her excuse,” Barrett told The Boston Globe last year. “She said, ’We cannot hire you.'”

Such demands have been made of teachers and administrators in religious schools before, but Barrett was hired to manage foods service for the school.

fontbonne academy

Still, a lawyer for the academy insists it was within its rights to rescind the job offer.

“How are they able to credibly communicate with their children, their students in theology class about the Catholic faith?” attorney John G. Bagley. “Mr. Barrett is involved in activity that is inconsistent with the message of the school.”

So the food-services director is teaching theology? What kind of school is this?

Also, don’t mist Catholic schools have Protestant, Jews and other non-Catholics working for them—even though their activities are inconsistent with Catholic doctrine? We’d say Fontbonne is on pretty shaky ground.


Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.