Gay Ohio teacher: I knew engagement could cost job

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio band and choir director says he knew that announcing his engagement to another man likely would mean he could no longer teach at a Roman Catholic school because of the church's teachings on marriage.

Brian Panetta said he was forced to resign last week after he told administrators at Sandusky Central Catholic School about his engagement over the Christmas break.

In a letter to people associated with the school, Panetta calls himself "a proud and gay Catholic" who hopes the church will change its teachings on marriage.

Two other teachers at Catholic schools in Ohio have recently fought their firings over actions that administrators said went against teachings of the church.

A lesbian teacher who challenged her firing by a school in Columbus didn't get her job back. Carla Hale and the Diocese of Columbus reached an undisclosed settlement.

A jury in June found the Archdiocese of Cincinnati discriminated against a teacher who was fired after becoming pregnant via artificial insemination. Christa Dias, who isn't Catholic, was awarded more than $170,000 after winning a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against the archdiocese.

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