Another Gay Teacher Fired For Getting Married. So Much For The Kinder, Gentler Vatican.

brian-panettaApparently, word hasn’t quite filtered down from The Advocate’s Man of the Year that firing teachers for wanting to get married isn’t exactly nonjudgmental. In the latest episode, Brian Panetta, the band director at Sandusky Central Catholic School in Ohio, was canned after getting engaged to his boyfriend at Christmas.

Panetta often attended school events with his now fiancé, Nathan David, so the school was well aware that he is gay. Recognizing that his engagement would violate the terms of his contract, Panetta did the honorable thing and approached the school to see if he should just quietly resigned. In returned, he received a letter of termination.

“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. “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.”

The school and the Diocese of Toledo eventually agreed to let Panetta resign instead of having a black termination mark on his record. Panetta was also able to distribute a letter to the school that announced both his resignation and his engagement.

In his four and a half years as band director, Panetta oversaw the growth of the band from 18 members to about 50. Of course, doing a good job is no barrier to being fired if you’re a gay teacher in a Catholic school. Just look at the cases of Mark Zmuda, Carla Hale, Michael Griffin, Ken Bencomo, and Tippi McCullough. All were fired for violating Church teaching.

Funny how the Church has not been quite so zealous when it comes to pedophile priests.

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  • Fitz

    Serves him right for working for people who discriminate. Didn’t seem to bother him until it was his issue.

  • balehead

    Why would he work there in the first place?…..strange….

  • 2eo

    @Fitz: Ethically I agree, I do appreciate yet another stick to beat the church with though, he’s at least of some use.

  • KittyLitter


  • Joetx

    In the interest of journalistic integrity, Queerty should change the headline of the article. Panetta resigned, he wasn’t fired.

    Of course, I am not justifying or agreeing what occurred. On the contrary, I think Panetta shouldn’t have resigned & should have fought against the school administration if they tried to fire him.

  • stadacona

    Nope. Once again, no sympathy for hypocrites that take blood money from an evil cult then cry when that cult turns on them.

  • Fitz

    Proud of you all!

  • gyntlgynt

    Come on people,there are many reasons why he worked them.
    Maybe it was the only school out of many he applied to,for a job,that would let him stay in the town he was raised in and live among the people he loves,or it might have been the best paying job out of all the rest.I know I wouldn’t fault someone for reasons like that.

  • jckfmsincty

    The Catholic Church continues to become increasingly irrelevant.

  • Esther L. Hutchins

    my neigbour recently purchased a fantastic cream Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible just by some part time working online with a cheap laptop. go right here

  • stanhope

    In my travels, one of the things I love doing is visiting old churches. As interesting as the architecture can be, I NEVER EVER set foot in a catholic church. I simply can’t understand how any gay person can justify being catholic. The history of the catholic church on gay matters is not only shameful but in some cases criminal.

  • arj

    I’m a bit stunned at the venom hurled toward this young fellow for following a dream and wanting to share that dream with young people. He is an artist in search for the Sacred Artist. How dare anyone on here condemn him for seeking higher ground. Yes, it was obvious that the catholic Hierarchy would terminate him. After all it was this same catholic “hierarchy” that turned its back on some of these same young people while their “priests”, teachers, coaches, etc. were sexually preying on their own young. This “hierarchy” is doomed to fail. Gay men, whether they be teachers, musicians, artists, catechists, coaches or whatever are simply the scapegoat for the failings of this “heirarchy.” No heirarchy has a monopoly on the Sacred Artist. Neither do any of you who condemn this young man. I had a conversation with a “priest” shortly after the lesbian teacher was fired in Columbus OH. It did’t matter that this woman had been teaching for about 18 years without a problem. It didn’t become a problem until some mother saw the obituary of this teacher’s mother and the female name of her spouse. This “priest” stated, “well it is what the church teaches.” I simply told him, “which is worse, this woman living free and in truth or the woman that sold her out in an anonymous phone call to the diocesan authorities?” Shame on you and shame on Sandusky St. Marys High School, “Father” Sally in the Toledo Diocesan offices, and shame on the catholic “hierarchy” for their continued persecution of their OWN CHILDREN. Godspeed, Mr. Panetta. Godspeed.

  • jwrappaport

    @gyntlgynt: Precisely. I doubt these people have any idea how hard it is for musicians to find good, sustainable work.

    The criticism leveled against him smacks of the libertarian mythology that it’s easy (indeed possible) for people to just vote with their feet. Did it ever occur to any of you that this may be the only job he was offered? Or perhaps that he has a mortgage, a car payment, and college debt to pay off?

    To say that your compassion for him is somehow limited by his unwillingness to martyr himself for the sake of ethical consistency is just ridiculous. He’s a music teacher, not a Catholic mercenary.

  • jwrappaport

    @stanhope: Do you apply the same logic to say an Athenian or Mayan temple where countless innocents were sacrificed in cold blood? Or perhaps to Catholic art or music? I hope not music, especially considering that some of the greatest achievements in Western music are explicitly religious and would have been played and heard exclusively in houses of worship. I also hope not the other fine arts in light of the fact that so many masterpieces feature religious subjects.

    I don’t admire the Parthenon because I believe in the cult of Athena, but because the structure is a testament to human ingenuity and craftsmanship – it’s also astonishingly beautiful.

  • Fitz

    @jwrappaport: I also needed to work, I had a mortgage and student loans and all of it. And I am from the day when you could get put in jail or a psych hospital for having gay sex.. yet still I prioritized not working for the man. Before gay marriage, I insisted on only working for companies that offered DP benefits. Now, if you are in some 2nd or 3rd world country and you haven’t eaten in a few days, you take what you can get. Otherwise, you can choose to live with some integrity.

  • SteveDenver

    Work for a HATE GROUP, expect HATE.

    One by one gays and lesbians; staff, parishoners, aluumni; expect some kind of miracle from their beloved sacred church and its divine drag queens. I wryly exclaim (in the littlest voice possible) ‘Surprise!’

    All these people who seem to think “It will be different for me,” are receiving lessons in how absolutely NOT SPECIAL they really are.

  • arj

    @SteveDenver: Whatever you say Mr. SteveDenver. I can tell by some comments on here that the catholic church hierarchy does not have the monopoly on HATE. Sleep well, grasshopper.

  • Ogre Magi

    christians are doo-doo

  • Jaroslaw

    The Vatican per se doesn’t oversee every decision ever made. A few churches defy it – I’ve heard of a few churches that have defied pressure and keep their (straight) married priests. The IHM Sisters are stirring the pot with some of their policies and with that women religious group they founded. People need to fight more or vote with their feet.

Comments are closed.