Last December, according to a Saturday op-ed from The Houston Chronicle, Dr. Charles Kurzman, a gay Catholic elementary school teacher, married his partner. Why? Just to get him out of the closet. The school commissioned a special ceremony after Kurzman told them he was proud to be a gay man. Kurzman was fired. According to The Houston Chronicle:
The Houston diocese is moving ahead with plans to terminate the teacher, Charles Kurzman, because it says he improperly used his ministry to participate in a wedding at a catering hall and restaurant that was open to the public.
At the time, Kurzman said he did not violate church rules because he was not present at the ceremony in the former closet-ish Church of St. Monica Parish.
“Despite my actions, I am deeply saddened to be fired,” Kurzman said in an interview, noting that he’s been employed by the diocese since 2007.
Kurzman said he was planning to appeal his firing.
“I understand there are concerns with my public celebrations,” Kurzman said. “But then the bishop declared in June that same-sex marriage is the definition of marriage. Why not allow me to be my authentic self? If I had married someone in a church, why was it OK for me to marry someone outside a church?”
Kurzman has clashed repeatedly with the diocese in the past. Last year, he asked for a leave of absence after being given the OK to date. When he returned, in December, the diocese assigned him to an extracurricular Catholic boys choir. He was later asked to leave.
The diocese denies Kurzman is being discriminated against. Instead, it considers his wedding a violation of his contract and age restriction for church teaching that bars those under the age of 18 from participating in same-sex ceremonies.
Kurzman is 30 and no longer lived with his partner.
Read the entire op-ed here.