To: Catholic Diocese of Richmond and Bishop DiLorenzo

Bishop DiLorenzo: End Discrimination towards Gay Employees

I respectfully ask the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to apologize to Mr. Murphy and pledge to end this type of discrimination against gay employees at its affiliated organizations in Virginia.

Why is this important?

I join Equality Virginia and other fair-minded Americans in writing you in regards to your treatment of John Murphy.

This country has a long and important history of upholding religious freedom. That right, which has preserved everyone’s ability to worship and believe as they choose, should not be repurposed to allow individuals or institutions to impose harm on others.

A life-long Catholic, Mr. Murphy was hired by a lay governing board as the Executive Director of the St. Francis Home. The Home is run by lay employees and admission is open to all qualifying people over 50 without preference or discrimination based on race, creed, religion, gender, or country of origin. Upon receiving his employee benefits paperwork, you ordered his dismissal because he has a same-sex spouse.

Religious organizations have a protected right to make decisions about hiring and firing people who are ministers, and can teach or spread faith free from government interference. But for positions that do not involve ministerial duties, such as leading the St. Francis Home, our longstanding laws against discrimination apply to both religious and secular organizations.

Most Americans, including a majority of Catholics, are shocked that you would fire Mr. Murphy solely because of who he loves. Employees should be judged on their qualifications, experience and the job they do – nothing more, and nothing less.