That’s the story out of San Antonio and the Express-News (via the DMN blog).
It seems that less than a week before her Nov. 22 marriage, 25-year-old Marquis LaFortune (pictured with her husband-to-be) was told she would be fired from her job at a Catholic high school for creating a scandal: The man she is marrying is divorced and had not received an annulment, a process that could take up to a year. The twist: Turns out the groom’s first marriage had been annulled. But too late to save her job, which ended this way:
Deacon Patrick Cunningham asked LaFortune if her fiance had been married. LaFortune, who’d worked at the school for more than a year, said yes.
He then gave her a choice: Seek an annulment, resign or be fired.
“There is a high likelihood of scandal here,” Cunningham wrote in a letter to LaFortune later that day, “when there is a public repudiation (even if it is unintentional) of the Church’s understanding of the marital covenant. This is not something that Central Catholic High School can support.”
Reached on Monday, Cunningham said the high school does not ask all its Catholic employees whether the Catholic Church would consider their marriages valid.
In his letter to LaFortune, the deacon cited the story in The Pep [the school newspaper] as a complicating factor because it made the previous marriage public. And he added Monday that some students at the school knew that LaFortune was marrying someone who’d been divorced from a marriage that hadn’t been annulled.
LaFortune refuted that.
“Why would I tell the students, hey I’m getting married, and by the way, I’m getting married to someone who didn’t have their first marriage annulled?” she asked.
She added: “(The issue of an annulment) wasn’t made public until he asked the question. And I frankly feel that’s none of his business. And if it is his business, then he needs to ask everyone those questions.”
LaFortune wants to sue under Equal Employment Opportunity violations, but will likely not have a case as it is a religious school.