Richmond man claims he lost job at Catholic home because he’s gay

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond man is speaking out after he says he was fired for being gay.

John Murphy is the former executive director of the Saint Francis Home, which has ties to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

Murphy claims in April he was terminated by two diocese employees after they confirmed Murphy and his partner of 30 years were married.

“They said well unfortunately that’s antithetical to church doctrine. That renders you unfit for this position and today is your last day,”Murphy said.

The 63-year-old hasn’t been able to find a job since.

Last month, he filed a complaint against the diocese with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Murphy contends he was wrongfully terminated.

The diocese disagrees. In a statement, it explained, “as a Catholic organization, we expect the employees of the diocese and its ministries to uphold and embody the consistent values and truths of the Catholic faith, including those preserving the sanctity of marriage.”

Here’s the big sticking point in this dispute: The diocese believes it has the right to require employees to follow the tenants of the Catholic faith.

However, Murphy’s attorney insists the law is very clear that religious organizations can hire based on faith, meaning the diocese can legally only hire Catholics if it chooses.

But he maintains no organization can discriminate based on race, sex or ethnicity.

Murphy is seeking compensation for what happened.

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