Arlington Catholic Diocese employee says gay wedding cost him his job

(WJLA) - For most of his life, Mike McMahon lived as both a music minister in the Catholic Church and as a gay man.

"Although I was able to reconcile those things myself I wasn't public about being gay," said McMahon.

But in February 2013, he removed the wall by marrying his husband in Maryland.

"I certainly knew there was a risk when we got married," said McMahon. "That this could affect my job."

McMahon, now a music director at the National City Christian Church in DC, had been a music minister at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington since 2005. And he had worked for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington since 1982.
He says his sexual identity was often treated as 'don't ask don't tell'.

But last July, someone filed a complaint with the church about his marriage, shortly after which McMahon was fired from St. Agnes.

"Obviously I had felt hurt and angry about what had happened to me," explained McMahon.

McMahon says there are many lesbians and gays who serve the church faithfully. He believes they are at risk of experiencing the same kind of thing he experienced.

ABC7 tried repeatedly to reach the spokesman for the diocese, Michael Donohue, but he never got back to us.

He said this to the Post:

"The church can't let a diocesan employee, especially one who has a significant and public role in the liturgy of the mass, and other ceremonies, to stand in open defiance of church teachings."

ABC7 spoke with members of St. Agnes Church, none of whom wanted to speak on camera. But they seemed saddened by McMahon's firing - one calling it 'sad' and another calling it 'pathetic'.