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US: Catholic school ‘to review policies’ after firing lesbian teacher for getting pregnant

Nick Duffy September 27, 2014

A Detroit Catholic school is to review its policies, after it sparked a backlash by firing a teacher for expecting a child with her wife.

Barbara Webb, who taught Chemistry and Biology at Marian High School in Michigan, has been married to Kristen Lasecki for six years.

However, it emerged this month that when she let her employer know that the pair were expecting a child together in order to arrange maternity leave, she was fired from her job by administrators.

The school was on the receiving end of a huge backlash after it used a “morality clause” in Mrs Webb’s employment contract to terminate her employment.

This week, the group of nuns who run the school said they would review the policy that led to Mrs Webb being fired.

Mary Jane Herb, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, told Detroit News: that “a complexity of issues” had emerged surrounding the “recent employment matter”.

She said: “Consequently, we need to have ongoing education and a new lens through which to view issues and situations that are emerging.

“Pope Francis has brought a sense of hope to our lives and encourages us to look at our Church with new eyes. No, it is not likely that doctrine will change, however the Pope emphasizes that the values of mercy, inclusion and compassion need to be included in our response to complex situations.”

She added that the school would “re-examine policies and procedures in light of Catholic identity” – though did not mention Mrs Webb by name.

Mrs Webb said previously: “This is so much more than me or my school, it’s about human rights. It’s a right for a woman to have a child.

“Being pregnant, you can’t hide forever, so I tried to be proactive and professional. [They said] my only options were to resign or be terminated.”

The Catholic Church will next month hold a much-hyped ‘extraordinary’ assembly of Bishops, where the church is expected to reaffirm its strong opposition to homosexuality.

More: Anti-gay, Catholic, Church, detroit, Discrimination, Employment, homophobic, lesbian, Michigan, Pope Francis, pregnant, school, teacher, US

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