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Gay Church Employee Fired Over Engagement

Catholic music director Colin Collette says he never hid his homosexual relationship

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    NEWSLETTERS

    7/30/2014: Catholic music director says he never hid his homosexual relationship from church. NBC 5's Rob Elgas reports. (Published Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014)

    The music director of a Illinois church lost his job after getting engaged to be married.

    Colin Collette got engaged to his longtime partner in Rome last week. But after announcing his big news, he was fired Monday from the Holy Family Church in the suburb of Inverness.

    "He's a little more angry right now at this moment, and understandably so, because I think he's concerned for me. He knows the church is my life," Collette said of his partner, William.

    "It's not even as much that this is happening to me, but that Holy Family will never be the same. Holy Family was this Catholic community that was said to be different," he said.

    The Archdiocese of Chicago issued a statement saying it was aware of the situation at Holy Family and would not comment on an individual's personnel issues.

    "Pastors hire and dismiss all parish personnel and govern according to the teachings of the Church and Archdiocesan policies. This is a matter of personal integrity on their part," the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement. "Those that serve as Ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church." 

    Collette finds the Archdiocese response troubling because he says his relationship was far from private. He says his partner -- also a Catholic -- has even read scripture at the church.

    "Everybody was welcome. That was our hallmark. All are welcome. Well, that's all changed now. That's become a lie," Collette said.

    Collette said he wouldn't hesitate to take his job back, but doesn't expect an invitation to return. He says he will return to the church to worship.