job qualifications

Single Pastors Being Discriminated Against In Job Hiring For Being Unmarried, Possibly Gay

With all your whining about a lack of federal protections keeping you from being fired from your job simply for being gay, I bet you forgot about another class of people who are hard up for work but being denied jobs because of their status. You know, the single male pastors who are being blocked from re-entering the job marketing because they’re unmarried and, possibly, suspected of being gay.

The New York Times alerts us to this crisis of faith:

Like all too many Americans, Mark Almlie was laid off in the spring of 2009 when his workplace downsized. He has been searching for an appropriate position ever since, replying to more than 500 job postings without success. But Mr. Almlie, despite a sterling education and years of experience, has faced an obstacle that does not exist in most professions: He is a single pastor, in a field where those doing the hiring overwhelmingly prefer married people and, especially, married men with children.

Mr. Almlie, 37, has been shocked, he says, at what he calls unfair discrimination, based mainly on irrational fears: that a single pastor cannot counsel a mostly married flock, that he might sow turmoil by flirting with a church member, or that he might be gay. If the job search is hard for single men, it is doubly so for single women who train for the ministry, in part because many evangelical denominations explicitly require a man to lead the congregation.

[…] Some evangelical churches, in particular, openly exclude single candidates; a recent posting for a pastor by a church on Long Island said it was seeking “a family man whose family will be involved in the ministry life of the church.” Other churches convey the message through code words, like “seeking a Biblical man” (translation: a husband and a provider). “I’ll get an e-mail saying ‘wonderful résumé,’ ” Mr. Almlie said in an interview. “Once I say I’m single, never married, I never hear back.”

“Prejudice against single pastors abounds,” contends Almlie. And ya know what? It’s perfectly legal! Thanks to religious exemptions, federal workplace protections that generally bar employers from considering marital status do not apply to churches looking to bring on new pastors. Which means denying single guys like Almlie a job simply because he’s unwed is perfectly kosher under the law. And if Almlie were gay and single? Well, double word score! [photo via]

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  • Ken

    Maybe he should consider converting to Roman Catholicism? They need priests.

    And for a Protestant clergyman to be ordained as a Catholic priest is doable under the terms of the “Pastoral Provision”. ‘Course, after that, he’ll never be able to get married. Much better in my opinion to get married first and then convert – then you get to be married Catholic priest! But if he was married already his current problem would go away.

    Sounds like what he really needs is not a resume, but a profile on eHarmony or something.

  • Lvng1tor

    You would think that with so many young people staying away from the church they would want a young hot single pastor. Come on. Think of all the single good christian girls out there who would flock (lol) to his seaman…I mean sermon!

  • ousslander

    does anyone really care? Especially Queerty, since anyone with a religious Christian bent is potrayed as the enemy.

  • Jeffree

    Guy just needs to get married. Is that really so complicated? At least he CAN get married, something many (but not all) denominations oppose.

    I don’t have much sympathy for his situation to be honest. He works in a field that he chose, knowing full well that he was expected to have a helpmate in his pastoral duties. How could he NOT have known he’d have his singleness be held against him?

  • Kent M

    You reap what you sow, Jeez-boy. Boo F’n Hoo!

  • jack e. jett

    Church has become the closet case bathouse for the new millineum.

    Preachers have become the Club attendants that always get the best dick in the building.

  • tallskin2

    Oh dearie me, thems that lives by the sky pixie dies by the sky pixie

    could I give a fuck?


  • prohomo

    Hmmm, Jesus was single(and gay?) and yet christians claim to follow his example in EVERY way. Why do coupled people have a problem with singleness? Why do they insist on pushing couplehood onto EVERyone? It’s fucking annoying.

  • craig

    Look at all the pedophile religious leaders uncovered all the time. They probably hope a married guy with kids will be less likely to be waiting to abuse the kids of his flock, seeing as he has at least chosen a legal sexual outlet in his wife and makes some use of that sexual outlet.

    The bigger prejudice in pastor jobs is that most denominations won’t allow females to be pastors. They’d probably have less interfering with the kids if they did let females in, statistically it is much rarer for women to engage in pedophilia compared to men.

  • Shazzer

    It’s not just the suspicion of gay-ness that causes single pastors to be rejected. In many evangelical churches, the pastor’s wife is expected to play a critical (un-paid) role in the running of social program, Sunday school, etc., so a married pastor means free labor.

  • Diana

    How can you liberals think you can have it both ways? You keep yelling about “separation of church and state” (which is not even listed in the Constitution) and now you want to get involved with how the church runs its business. Get a life.

  • Jeffree

    @Diana: Oooh, another homeschooler! @There’s no mention of church/state separation in the Constitution OR in this article, so your drive-by trolling just show us you don’t understand the Constitution or written English.

Comments are closed.