Support Church Music Director Fired for Being Gay

Target: Jenny R. Yang, Equal Employment Opportunity Council Chair

Goal: Support longtime church music director who was terminated because of his sexual orientation

Colin Collette was fired from his workplace after 17 years, simply because he became engaged to his male partner. Collette was the music director of Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, Illinois, but was asked to resign due to his sexual orientation. When he refused, Collette was fired. He has since filed a discrimination complaint against the church to fight back against this blatant discrimination.

Illinois legalized same-sex marriage in June 2014, and Collette and his partner celebrated the decision by getting engaged. Although discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal, in 2012 the Supreme Court granted an exception for faith-based employers, specifically for “ministry” positions. Churches are still subjected to anti-discrimination laws, however, and cannot be allowed to fire employees for exercising their legal right to marry.

People should not be discriminated against because of their sexuality, no matter where they work. Please let the Equal Employment Opportunity Council, where Collette filed his complaint, know that you support this man’s right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace, and that we are past the time in history when employers should be permitted to fire employees because of their sexual orientation.


Dear Ms. Yang,

It has come to my attention that a discrimination complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Council by Colin Collette, a gay man who was fired from his job as a music director at a Catholic church. After getting engaged to his partner of five years, Collette was asked to resign from the position he held for nearly two decades because his homosexuality violated tenants of the Catholic Church. When he refused to resign, he was fired. This type of discrimination must be condemned. I urge you to guarantee justice for Collette and all the other gay and lesbian individuals working for faith-based employers.

Illinois legalized gay marriage in June 2014, so Collette has the legal right to marry his partner. Despite that, the Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness decided to fire him for executing this right. This is a clear case of discrimination, and I ask you to take a stand against it and support Colin Collette in his fight for justice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Theyenine via Wikimedia Commons

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