An Ohio Catholic school teacher has quit, rather than sign a new morality contract which requires her to condemn her gay son’s homosexuality.
The controversial contract, introduced for all teachers by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, prohibits employees from practising gay “lifestyles”, as well as “publicly endorsing” homosexuality, out-of-wedlock relationships or abortions.
Molly Shumate, 49, is the first teacher to quit rather than sign the contract, which was introduced this week, because her 22-year-old son Zachery is gay and she refuses to publicly condemn him.
She told the Cincinnati Enquirer: “If my son were to say to me, ‘will you go somewhere with me that is supported or run by gays and lesbians’, I would have to tell him no, according to that contract. And if my picture was taken, what would happen?
“For me to sign this, I feel like I would be telling my son I’ve changed my mind, that I don’t support him as I did. And I won’t do that.
“In my eyes there is nothing wrong with my son.
“This is what God gave me and what God created and someone I should never be asked to not support [him].
Over 2200 teachers are covered by the new contract, but Shumate is the first to publicly resign because of it.
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the newspaper: “It’s a bit frustrating to us that some of the organized opposition to our new contract language has misstated its intentions and its implications.
“First of all, nobody who signed this year’s contract or last year’s contract should hesitate to sign the 2014-2015 agreement.
“All say the same thing – that the teacher will not publicly act or speak against the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Local attorney Tim Garry Jr is opposing the new contract.
He said: “We’re attempting to help the teachers to have a voice in their contract.
“I doubt there is a more important contract in the Archdiocese, impacting more people, teachers, students and parents, than this contract with 2,200 or more teachers, 43,000 or so students and their parents.
“The leadership of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is not a democracy, and there has been little to no indication that it will voluntarily respond favourably to any request for change to their Catholic School teachers’ contract, no matter how reasonable or modest those changes might be.”