A gay teacher is suing Charlotte Catholic High School and the dioceses of Charlotte, claiming that he was fired because he married.

Lonnie Billard became a full-time faculty member at the school in 2001. That same year, he became involved with Rich Donham. In 2012, Billard was named the school's Teacher of the Year. He retired at the end of the school year, but stayed on as a regular substitute teacher.

In 2014, he posted his wedding announcement on Facebook.

“Yes, I'm finally going to make an honest (at least legal) man out of Rich,” he wrote. “I thank all the courageous people who had more guts than I who refused to back down and accept anything but 'equal.'”

“People at school congratulated us and all of that, and then all of the sudden, I'm not employed anymore,” he told Charlotte's Channel 9.

Billard is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“Lonnie was the 2012 Teacher of the Year, a remarkable teacher, who was fired because he's gay,” ACLU lawyer Chris Brook told the outlet. Brook claims that Billard's job was secular and therefore immune from Roman Catholic doctrine, which is opposed to same-sex marriage.

According to the complaint, Billard is asking for back pay and benefits, his job back and punitive damages. He also wants a court order blocking school officials from firing other employees for the same reason, The Charlotte Observer reported.