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Church fires transgender choirmaster

Sept. 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM

LECCE, Italy, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A Catholic choirmaster in Italy who switched genders last year said she was fired from Lecce Cathedral after 18 years of service.

Luana Ricci, who changed her name from Marco Della Gatta last year and is awaiting an operation to complete her sex change, said she was fired Aug. 31 with no explanation from the cathedral, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Thursday.

"They gave me the boot without any explanation, beating about the bush without coming out with the real reason," Ricci said.

Ricci, who married and had two children, ages 15 and 18, during her life as a man, said her family supports her.

"Both they and my wife love me for what I am," she said of her children. "I never would have thought that my condition would have caused problems in the workplace."

A spokesman for the cathedral said officials hope "dialogue can clear up the various aspects of this complex matter."

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