Lesbian softball coach ‘forced out’ of Catholic high school for planning to marry a woman
A Catholic school’s lesbian softball coach has resigned after authorities “made clear” to her that she would be fired if she married her fiancée.
Kristen Nelson said that a student’s parent had spoken to West Catholic High School about their “concern” regarding the coach’s upcoming wedding.
The school spoke to Nelson and, she said, impressed on her that the institution’s Catholic beliefs would make it impossible for her to continue to teach while in a same-sex marriage.
This led to Nelson, who had coached the softball team for five years, to leave the school she also graduated from in 2008 before she – allegedly – would have been pushed out.
Earlier this month, another Catholic school teacher, Jocelyn Morffi, was fired from her Florida school for getting married to a woman.
On Facebook, Nelson wrote that she had come to the decision with “a heavy heart”.
Nelson explained: “It has been made clear to me through conversations I have had with the leadership at West Catholic High School, that both they and the Diocese ‘teach a single view of marriage’ and that if I were to continue with my and Maria’s decisions to get married, I would not be able to continue coaching at West Catholic High School.”
In an emotional message, she wrote: “I always wanted and intended to give back to the community I came from, a community my family and I have always loved and supported.
“Although I feel, and believe you would agree, that my sexual orientation has never conflicted or hindered my ability to perform my coaching duties, unfortunately, leadership does not agree as such, and I no longer feel welcome to continue coaching softball at West Catholic High School.
“I am hurt and mostly disappointed that I will no longer be able to continue, but I hope you can understand that I simply cannot continue to work in an environment that refuses to support me.”
The school responded with a statement about Nelson, also on Facebook, which said: “We are saddened and disappointed by her resignation, especially this close to the softball season.
“In her resignation letter, she indicated the Church teaches ‘a single view of marriage’. She is correct, we do.”
The school added that “everyone who works for West Catholic works for the Catholic Church, whether they are administrators, teachers, staff members or coaches.
“They are charged with sharing the faith and the teachings of the Church.
“When someone is living outside of Church teaching or participating in behavior not in line with Church teaching and makes it known publicly, they cannot fulfill their primary mission to lead by example.”
However, the school denied that theirs was an exclusionary position.
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“It does not mean that we are judging this individual or that she is not a welcome and beloved member of our community. She is,” the statement continued.
“The public act of same-sex marriage, not her same-sex attraction, is the focus of Church teaching.
“It is not only people who experience same-sex attraction who are called to live chastely, but all of us. No one is excluded from the call of Christ.”
Of course, were a straight person to get married, it can be safely assumed that there would be no issue.