Friday, April 18, 2014

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Catholic Schools in Spotlight with New Film About Employee in Same-Sex Marriage

A new movie that garnered attention at the Sundance Film Festival features the plight of a homosexual choir director at a Catholic school who loses his job after he marries his same-sex partner, according to the Associated Press.

“Love is Strange” features Alfred Molina and same-sex marriage advocate John Lithgow as the couple.

The movie mirrors reality, as in recent months Catholic schools have upheld their Catholic identity by removing employees who publicly contradict Church teaching.  These include Eastside Catholic High School in the Archdiocese of Seattle, Wash.,and Sandusky Central Catholic School in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio.

Entertainment Weekly reports:

Lithgow wasn’t aware of the frequency of such teacher-firings when he first accepted the role, and he was surprised to read headlines about such occurrences.  “There were newspaper stories piling in every day of exactly this thing happening,” he says.  “It’s no judgement on Catholic doctrine at all, but it does address the reality that even though the law has made great strides and marriage equality is this almost voguish thing right now, there is still a gigantic proportion of the population that is very uncomfortable with the idea.”

But according to the actors, [director Ira] Sachs didn’t set out to make a politically-charged movie.  “Ira Sachs’ view of it was very cool,” says Molina.  “Not dispassionate, but objective.  The film doesn’t have any particular axe to grind.  I used to describe it as a sort of bittersweet romance and that description seemed to satisfy until we started making it and I realized actually there’s so much more to it than that: the end of the story is one of great hope and optimism and the power of how love can transcend everything.”

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