Gay Teacher Sues Over Firing From North Carolina High School

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A gay teacher has sued a Roman Catholic school in North Carolina for firing him after he announced his wedding to a man.

The lawsuit argues Charlotte Catholic High School violated federal employment law by firing Lonnie Billard from a substitute teaching role in 2014. Billard was informed of his termination after a Facebook post about his wedding.

A diocese spokesman declined comment Wednesday.

The lawsuit says the firing violates prohibitions against discrimination under the federal Title VII law.

The federal Equal Opportunity Commission says on its website that religious organizations can give employment preference to members of the faith but can’t otherwise discriminate against protected classes of people.

While Wednesday’s lawsuit doesn’t invoke North Carolina law, it comes amid debate over a state law limiting protections for LGBT people.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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