Lesbian school counsellor allegedly fired for living ‘contrary to church teachings’
A former school counsellor has claimed that she was fired from her position at a Catholic school when authorities found out she was a lesbian and married to a woman.
In an opinion article for the Courier Journal, Allison King said she wanted to share how she had been personally discriminated against by the Archdiocese of Louisville, who run the school.
King, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, said that her career was “forcibly ended” when school authorities discovered that she was a lesbian and that she was married.
“We need to know if it is true that you are married outside of the church and contrary to church teachings.”
– The school’s alleged statement to King
She said that she was asked to attend a meeting with the school principal and parish priest at Holy Spirit School four days before the end of the school year.
In the meeting, she was told that they had only heard “good things” about her.
Lesbian guidance counsellor Allison King said she was accused of introducing her wife to students
However, the school principal then read a statement where it was alleged that she had introduced her wife to students.
“We are not here to determine what was said or to judge a lifestyle, but we need to know if it is true that you are married outside of the church and contrary to church teachings,” the statement said.
King said she felt “ambushed and ashamed” when it was explained that she was in violation of the Archdiocesan Catholic Witness Policy, which all employees of the Archdiocese must sign. The policy states that employees who don’t live “according to Christian teachings” can have their employment terminated.
“Hiding the truth just makes me complicit in supporting a culture of shame that does so much damage, especially to young people.”
– Allison King
She said that she had agonised over signing the policy, but she did so as she never thought that her employer would interfere in her private life.
King was allegedly told that they would handle her situation compassionately and announce that she was leaving the school for “personal reasons” – however, she said that she felt the need to speak out.
“While I appreciate their consideration, the problem is that hiding the truth just makes me complicit in supporting a culture of shame that does so much damage, especially to young people,” she said.
Keeping sexuality a secret ‘eroded’ King’s dignity
“Keeping my private life private at work eroded my dignity over the years,” King wrote in the opinion article.
“I ate in faculty lounges with colleagues as they talked casually about their children and family vacations, and wished I could share more than just vague, genderless details about my personal life. I wanted to allow them to know me better so we could connect on a more authentic level.
“The church’s official position is that it doesn’t condone aggression of any kind toward homosexual people.
“Is it not aggression to fire LGBTQ staff for wanting the same civil liberties as their heterosexual counterparts, thereby shaming and shunning them?” she said.
“I ate in faculty lounges with colleagues as they talked casually about their children and family vacations, and wished I could share more than just vague, genderless details about my personal life.”
– Allison King
PinkNews reached out to Holy Spirit School for comment but had not received a response at the time of publishing.
King’s case is similar to the high-profile case of Shelly Fitzgerald, who was fired from her job as a guidance counsellor at Roncalli High School last year after 15 years when authorities discovered that she was a lesbian and was married to a woman.
The school – which is in Indianapolis – has a Catholic ethos.
In January, Fitzgerald announced that had filed a charge of discrimination against the school after she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November.
However, in a statement to IndyStar in January, the school denied wrongdoing.