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The Catholic church fired a straight woman for her support of the queer community

Lily Wakefield October 27, 2019
Straight woman fired from Catholic school

Kelley Fisher was fired from Roncalli Catholic High School in Indianapolis. (Roncalli High School/ Facebook)

A straight employee of a Catholic high school says she was fired for publicly supporting two guidance counsellors who lost their jobs for being gay.

Two lesbian guidance counsellors at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis were told their contracts would not be renewed because they were married to women.

The school, which is run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, insists that staff must live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Now, straight social worker Kelley Fisher will also lose her job of 15 years, and she says it’s because she publicly supported her former colleagues.

She told IndyStar that she made two public Facebook posts defending Shelly Fitzgerald and Lynn Starkey, one of which was a letter to the archdiocese saying she wanted to be a “voice for social justice”.

She told IndyStar: “As an advocate for social justice and against discrimination, I really felt, you know, propelled to make that public statement.”

Straight woman fired from Catholic school
(Roncalli High School/ Facebook)

Fisher said after making the posts she was called into a meeting with Roncalli principal Chuck Weisenbach who said he was concerned she would give advice to LGBT+ students that was against Catholic teachings.

She added: “Our job is, as a counselor or social worker, that we don’t bring our values or judgment into a session. And I feel very strongly about that.”

She said she was then told that she would not be able to return to her placement at the school, but because her contract was with Catholic Charities, which places social workers in schools, she thought she would be able to get another placement.

However, the Indianapolis archdiocese also operates Catholic Charities, and Fisher was later fired.

On the subject of Fishers dismissal, the archdiocese told IndyStar: “Catholic schools exist to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation.

“To accomplish their mission, Catholic schools ask all teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to uphold the Catholic faith by word and action, both inside and outside the classroom.”

She has since filed two discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Fitzgerald and Starkey have also filed discrimination complaints.

In recent months, two other schools under the same archdiocese were ordered to fire LGBT+ teachers.

In June this year, Joshua Payne-Elliott was fired by Cathedral High School for being gay and he filed lawsuits against the Indianapolis archdiocese and the school. He later took a settlement from the school, but the lawsuit against the archdiocese is ongoing.

His husband, Layton Payne-Elliott, was also ordered to be fired from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. The school refused to fire him, and subsequently lost its affiliation with the archdiocese.

More: archdiocese, Catholic Church, Discrimination, high school, indianapolis, lawsuit, teachers

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