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Nuns allow trans man to keep job as teacher at Catholic high school

Joseph McCormick May 13, 2016

A trans man has been allowed to keep his job as a teacher by the nuns at his Catholic high school, after coming out.

Gabriel Bodenheimer, a teacher in San Francisco, came out as trans, but has been offered support by the order of the Sisters of Mercy.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the president of the 16-state region of the Sisters of Mercy, Laura Reicks, said: “This is significant for us… we did not take this lightly.”

She added: “We feel because of our values, the choice was this, but that didn’t mean it was easy.”

The order’s values, Reicks went on, include supporting people’s dignity based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The West Midwest Community sponsors or co-sponsors six high schools.

Bodenheimer, an English teacher at Mercy High School, said: “It was very important to speak, and name myself, and not be silent… The response I got was tremendously positive.”

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone didn’t take a side in the debate, saying: “Often in such situations a balance must be struck in a way that distinct values are upheld, such as mercy and truth, or institutional integrity and respect for personal decisions affecting one’s life… allowing for prudential judgment.”

The board of the school confirmed that there had been no complaints from the community.

This decision comes as President Obama’s administration issued a letter on Friday instructing schools across the US to allow trans students to use gender-appropriate bathroom facilities.

A battle is currently being waged over trans bathroom rights, as North Carolina is being sued by the federal government over HB2.

HB2 was passed in response to a local ordinance in Charlotte protecting the rights of trans students who use a gender-appropriate bathroom.

The state law, passed in a special session, bans trans people from using a gender-appropriate bathrooms and rolls back local laws protecting LGBT people.

The Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory has said HB2 is a “common sense privacy policy”, and also suggested Congress should review the Civil Rights Act following the action against hist state.

McCrory’s administration countersued on Monday, filing a complaint against the federal government.

He said the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the state was a “baseless and blatant overreach.”

The US Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina on Monday, asking a federal court to rule that the law violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The Department said the state should stop enforcing HB2.

The Attorney General Loretta Lynch also threatened to withhold federal funding to the University of North Carolina system, which could be as much as $4.8 billion.

In response, Governor McCrory filed his own desperate lawsuit against the federal government yesterday.

In it, he named Ms Lynch, the head of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta and the Justice Department.

“We’re taking the Obama admin to court,” he wrote.

“They’re bypassing Congress, attempting to rewrite law & policies for the whole country, not just NC.

“Our lawsuit seeks to ensure that NC continues to receive federal funding until the courts clarify federal law & resolve this national issue.”

More: Catholic, nuns, San Francisco, teacher, Trans, Transgender, US

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