Lonnie Billard is a gay substitute teacher who was wrongfully fired by Charlotte Catholic High School(Roman Catholic School) in North Carolina.
This was after he announced in 2014 on social media that he was going to marry his longtime partner, a federal judge has ruled.
Billard taught English and drama(full time) at the school for more than a decade, earning its Teacher of the Year award in 2012. He then transitioned to a role as a regular substitute teacher, working more than a dozen weeks per year, according to his 2017 lawsuit.
When he posted about his upcoming wedding back in October 2014, an assistant principal informed him that he no longer had a job at the school, several weeks later.
The school countered by informing that they indeed fired, Lonnie because he was gay, rather than he was “engaged in advocacy” of the same-sex marriage by announcing his wedding.
In a statement released by Billiard, he is quoted:
“After all this time, I have a sense of relief and a sense of vindication. I wish I could have remained teaching all this time.Today’s decision validates that I did nothing wrong by being a gay man.”
U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn ruled on Friday that, Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Charlotte violated Lonnie Billard’s federal protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
He also granted summary judgment to Billard and said a trial must be held to determine appropriate relief for him(Lonnie).