Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bishop of Richmond Fires Assisted Living Home Director for Being Gay

Bishop DiLorenzo - anti-gay and anti-woman bigot who seems to have never missed a meal
I have noted before that Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond is a foul and nasty piece of work.  He is among the most reactionary appointments made by the late and anything but saintly John Paul II.   During his years in Honolulu where he served as bishop and since his installation as the Bishop of Richmond, DiLorenzo has demonstrated himself to be virulently anti-gay, anti-woman, and against any accommodation for divorced and remarried Catholics.  Whether these vicious tendencies arise from his own psycho-sexual issues or from the fact that he is a misogynist in general is anyone's guess.  Wikipedia has a good summary of DiLorenzo's reactionary and anti-women actions, as well as his long history of anti-gay efforts.  I know for a fact that he has blocked the hiring of an well qualified individual from a teaching position because the individual was divorced and remarried - the individual's spouse had come out as gay and hence the divorce - despite the desire of the school to hire the individual.  Now,  DiLorenzo has brought on a U.S. Equal Employment Commission complaint against the Richmond Diocese for the firing of the gay director of Saint Francis Home assisted living center.  ABC News and GayRVA are reporting on the firing which to me underscores the need to revoke the tax-exempt status of ALL religious institutions except those that are houses of worship.  Taxpayers should not be compelled to indirectly subsidize bigotry.  If church entities are forced out of business because they have lost the indirect public dole, so be it.  First, highlights from ABC News:
[John Murphy claims that Bishop DiLorenzo] forced his removal from the top job at a diocese-owned assisted living home because he's gay and married to his partner of 30 years.

John Murphy filed a discrimination claim against the Catholic Diocese of Richmond with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month. He said he served as executive director of the Saint Francis Home in Richmond for about a week before two deputies of Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo told him that he was being fired because his marriage goes against church doctrine.

Murphy was terminated without severance pay and he and his husband, a retired clinical social worker, are relying primarily on Social Security benefits to get by, he said.

At least one board member has resigned out of frustration with the bishop's actions.

"I didn't want to be a part of that decision — not in this day and age," said Sam Dibert Sr., who had been vice president of the board and served on it for more than 20 years. Dibert said he didn't know that Murphy was gay until after he was hired, but it didn't affect his opinion of him or whether he thought he could do the job.

The board's president didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dozens of openly gay employees at Catholic institutions in the U.S have reported losing their jobs since 2010 over their same-sex relationships or support for gay marriage and gay rights, according to New Ways Ministry, which advocates for gay and lesbian Catholics.

The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission ruled in July that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — which bars employers from discriminating against someone because of their sex, race and religion — also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

There is a religious exemption in the law, but it goes only so far as to allow organizations from refusing to hire people who aren't part of their religion, said Samuel Bagenstos, a professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in constitutional and civil rights law.

If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds that Murphy was discriminated against, it will try to negotiate a settlement between the two sides. If it finds that there has been no discrimination or a settlement can't be reached, it will likely end up in federal court, where the potential outcome is unclear.
 GayRVA has additional details.  Here are highlights:

The former Executive Director of Saint Francis Home in Richmond, a nonprofit, assisted living facility for persons of limited financial means, was hired in March of this year and claims he had received praise for his handling of the job. But after filing his employee benefits paperwork, and marking the forms with his same-sex spouse, he found himself on the receiving end of a pink slip.

Murphy said he spoke with his employers before being hired, he mentioned his marriage and they told him it wouldn’t be a problem. But according to a press release by Equality Virginia, Virginia’s leading LGBTQ activist organization, when the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Francis X. Di Lorenzo, noticed the same-sex relationship, he ordered the St. Francis Board to fire Murphy.

“I expect to be judged by my job performance, but I am appalled and deeply hurt that the Bishop of the church I grew up in would suddenly fire me solely because of the gender of the person I share my life with – a person to whom I am lawfully married according to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Murphy in the EV statement. “It is shocking to me that this can happen in 2015 in America, and I fear for my financial survival if any employer can do this to me at any time.”

According to EV, the board unanimously refused, and some members resigned over the order. It took Bishop Di Lorenzo personally deputizing someone to go to Murphy’s house and fire him.

The state of Virginia lacks protections in employment based on sexual orientation, however a claim of sex discrimination can be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC handles investigations into these claims, and can make decisions based on federal law.

The use of a sex discrimiantion claim is one used by a few LGBTQ Americans in recent years as it relates to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
DiLorenzo is a douche bag and is a prime example of why the Roman Catholic Church is losing members at an accelerating rate.  He also is a poster child for why the IRS needs to start revoking tax exempt status for so-called religious institutions that are not directly related t worship services.  The Founder never envisioned allowing schools, hospitals, and many other types of facilities getting a tax free ride at the expense of those targeted by religious based bigotry.   Sign the petition to force DiLorenzo to rescind Murphy's firing.

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