It looks like discrimination against gays is alive and well in the state of Missouri. Al Fischer, an openly gay music teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in North St. Louis County was fired from his job in mid-February. The reason? Discussing future marriage plans to his partner of over 20 years.

According to reports, church officials had learned that Al was planning to marry his partner in New York, one of a handful of states that allows for same-sex marriage. This coming on the heels of a January 11 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that gives churches and their schools broad powers over employees.

Al released a letter to the media that was given to the kids in his classes and their parents which tells of “my joyful news, and my sad news.” The first being that he plans to marry his longtime partner in New York, the latter that he will no longer be teaching at St. Ann’s. According to one parent at the school, many are disappointed in the school’s decision as his sexuality was open and well known.

According to St. Louis Today:

In his letter to parents, Fischer wrote: “I think the word has been well spread that this is not the fault of St. Ann School or its leadership, and I want to emphasize that I get that, too.” It added that the school’s principal and the parish priest “are still there for me in a big way.”

The letter encouraged parents to talk to their children. “A family conversation about whether or not justice was served here could be a great thing,” it read. “I do not want the lesson from this for the kids to be, ‘Keep your mouth shut, hide who you are or what you think if it will get you in trouble.'”

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