Flint Dollar, a popular music teacher at a Catholic school in Macon, Georgia, is suing after his teaching contract was not renewed after four years.
The reason: he is gay and announced on Facebook that he was going to marry his partner this summer.
Although he had been open with school administrators since he came Mount de Sales Academy, there was now a problem and he found himself called into the office of the school president.
‘When you’re called in the last part of the day on the last day of the week, it’s not a good sign,’ Dollar tells National Public Radio. ‘I was told that … the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah called and expressed his concern that if I was to return it would be against the teachings of the Catholic Church.’
‘I was told very specifically I didn’t do anything wrong, that there were no parent complaints, no student complaints, but regardless, I would not be returning. I’m still kind of processing that.’
Dollar’s lawsuit is taking a creative approach because it is not against the law in Georgia to fire someone for being gay. His lawyer sees an opening title VII of the Civil Rights Act which was passed in 1964.
‘When you fire somebody because they are engaging in a same-sex marriage, I think that pretty clearly fits with gender discrimination,’ attorney Charles Cox tells NPR. ‘You’re being fired because you’re not complying with traditional gender stereotypes, and that’s wrong, and we believe it’s unlawful.’
Dollar has found plenty of support including a ‘Save Flint Dollar’ Facebook page that has more than 2,500 followers.
While he looks for a job and pursues his legal battle, Dollar is playing organ part time at a Presbyterian church.
‘I don’t want anybody else to have to go through what I’ve been through,’ he says. ‘This last month has been up and down. It’s been painful. There are days that I don’t want to get out of bed.’