Church Fires Catholic Minister Because He Liked A Friend’s Gay Marriage Post On Facebook
A campus minister at Cleveland State University, Ohio, has been fired after he liked a photo of gay couple friends on Facebook who were celebrating their five-year anniversary. He also has shared photos in the past of himself attending same-sex weddings of friends.
According to Gay Times,, Keith Kozak was called into a room with a supervisor and someone from HR to discuss his interaction with social media posts in celebration of same-sex marriage, and the next day was fired.
“I really wasn’t even thinking about it at the time, that it would be anything detrimental,” Kozak told Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS about his “like.” “[It] really feels discouraging that this is still happening.”
Kozak, who said he was up for a promotion, assumed the meeting was good news — until they began questioning him about the photos on social media.
“They sat me down and they said we had seen some things on Facebook and Twitter and that would like to talk to you about that,” Kozak told WEWS.
He admitted to “liking” the photo his friend posted about his wedding on Sept. 13 and sharing a few photos from the reception he attended last year at a different friend’s gay wedding.
“The very next day, I received a letter that said I was terminated,” Kozak said.
He told News 5 Cleveland, “I still have a strong faith, still believe in God’ in spite of the firing.” He also went on to say that while he identifies as gay, he didn’t feel comfortable telling them because he didn’t think it was important at the time. He also never posted anything controversial in his opinion.
When reached for comment by WEWS, the Diocese of Cleveland refused to discuss specific personnel matters, but did cite ministerial exception for allowing such personnel decisions. Ministerial exception refers to a Supreme Court ruling that exempts religious institutions from anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices.
The diocese told WEWS in a statement it was confident his firing was appropriate.
Kozak, who is gay himself, said the firing was a “wake-up call,” but he still considers himself Catholic.
“It’s a wake-up call for me,” he said. “It’s a wake-up call that I didn’t really realize the Catholic Church would act like this.”