Archdiocese declines mediation with fired Holy Family music director

  • Colin Collette, the former music director at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, was fired last year after getting engaged to his male partner.

    Colin Collette, the former music director at Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness, was fired last year after getting engaged to his male partner. Doug T. Graham | Staff Photographer, December 2014

 
 
Updated 11/12/2015 9:31 PM

The Archdiocese of Chicago will not participate in mediation with former Holy Family Catholic Community music director Colin Collette, who was fired last year after getting engaged to his male partner, his lawyer said Thursday.

Without the mediation recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Collette will wait for the federal agency to render a decision on his discrimination complaint, which could lead to a court battle, said attorney Kerry Lavelle.

 

A spokeswoman said via email Thursday evening that the archdiocese had no comment because the complaints against it remain pending with the public agencies.

Collette was the longtime music director at the Holy Family Catholic Community in Inverness when he was fired in September 2014 after announcing his engagement on Facebook. The firing divided the church, with many parishioners publicly supporting him while church leadership and archdiocese officials stood behind the move.

Collette filed discrimination complaints last December with the EEOC and Cook County in a bid to get his job back.

In July, the EEOC recommended that the two sides go into mediation to resolve the dispute.

Lavelle said Collette accepted the offer, but the archdiocese did not respond and mediation never happened.

Lavelle said the EEOC informed him Thursday that the archdiocese has declined mediation.

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"Naturally Colin is disappointed that the archdiocese is unwilling to commit to working together to find a resolution to his case," Lavelle said in a statement Thursday.

"It has been a year since we filed with the EEOC, and we will now await their finding in the matter."

Collette has declined to speak to the media since filing the discrimination complaints last year.

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