WATCH: Married Gay Man Stripped of Volunteer Duties at Catholic Church
BY Trudy Ring
April 05 2013 11:33 AM ET
A gay Long Island man has been stripped of his volunteer duties at his Roman Catholic church after he married his longtime partner.
Lifelong Catholic Nicholas Coppola, 47, had been an active parishioner and taught a children’s religion class at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside, N.Y. He continued to do so after legally marrying his partner of 10 years, David Crespo, last October, a wedding that was attended by several church members and even some clergy.
But an anonymous letter-writer notified Bishop Bob Brennan, the head of the Catholic diocese of Rockville Centre, that a married gay man was teaching religion at St. Anthony’s, and Brennan spoke to St. Anthony’s pastor Nicholas Lombardi about it. Lombardi then told Coppola he could no longer teach the class, NBC’s New York City affiliate reports.
“It has been difficult, very difficult for me,” Coppola told the station. “Because I'm trying to fill that void of good deeds. … I was accepted into the church being openly gay. But once I got married, which went against Catholic teaching, they had to remove me from my teaching position.”
He said he bore no resentment toward Lombardi. “I don’t want anyone to think this is Nick Lombardi’s fault,” Coppola said. “He did this with a very heavy heart. You could see it in his face. I felt sad for him that he had to make this decision. In fact, he’s still struggling with this now and it’s sad.”
Watch the interview below.
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com
- Colo. Bakery's Refusal to Bake Gay Wedding Cake Is Discrimination, Judge Rules
- WATCH: Pastor Rick Warren's Orwellian 'Doublespeak' on Marriage Equality
- Op-ed: Why I Filmed My Coming Out Journey
- WATCH: Ben Affleck and SNL Crew Go to Ex-Gay Camp
- WATCH: Elton John Slams 'Inhumane, Isolating' Anti-LGBT Laws In Russia
- Hot Sheet: Hark the Herald Angel Swings
- Travel Wedding Bells Ring Down Under 26 min 49 sec ago
- Religion WATCH: Rick Warren's 'Doublespeak' on Marriage Equality 28 min 14 sec ago
- Entertainment News Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score 7 Grammy Nominations 2 hours 28 min ago
- Marriage Equality Washington's Weddings Were 17 Percent Gay Last Year 8:00 AM
- Marriage Equality Colo. Bakery's Refusal to Bake Gay Wedding Cake Is Discrimination 7:00 AM
- Art In the Galleries: Transformer 4:00 AM
- Politics WATCH: Elton John Slams Russia's Anti-LGBT Laws Onstage December 06 2013 8:40 PM