A Catholic bishop in Ohio is defending the decision to fire a gay teacher.

Bishop Frederick Campbell said that maintaining the Catholic values of the institutions under his guidance explained why Carla Hale had to go.

She was dismissed from Bishop Watterson High School last month when officials found out she was gay through her mother’s obituary.

Following the death of her mother in March, Ms Hale took time off work, and during that time she wrote an obituary for her late mother in which she named her partner, Julie, as a survivor.

On returning to work she learned that a parent of one of her students had read the obituary and complained to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colombus, which governs her school.

Bishop Campbell told the Columbus Dispatch that Carla Hale was not fired for being a lesbian, but for having an open same-sex relationship. The bishop said the “quasi-spousal relationship” violates Catholic Church doctrine.

On Tuesday, Ms Hale filed a complaint with the Columbus Community Relations Commission claiming discrimination.