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A queer teacher who worked at a Catholic school for 20 years has been sacked after being made to sign a ‘no gays’ contract

Lily Wakefield April 29, 2020
Catholic school

The teacher has worked at Alter Catholic high school for 20 years. (Archbishop Alter High School/ Facebook)

A queer teacher, who has worked at the same Catholic school for 20 years, has just been sacked for violating the school’s anti-LGBT+ policies.

According to Dayton Daily News, the teacher was a graduate of Alter High School in Ohio, which is controlled by the archdiocese of Cincinnati, and had taught there for two decades.

The principal of the Catholic school, Lourdes Lambert, told the publication that someone had raised a “concern” about the unnamed teacher with the archbishop.

As a result, the teacher will not have his contract renewed, although he will be permitted to finish the school year, teaching children from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lambert said: “It’s a very unfortunate circumstance for the teacher and the Alter community. Some things are taken out of our hands as an archdiocese-owned school.” However, she admitted: “I’m the archdiocese, too.”

The archdiocese of Cincinnati describes homosexuality as “disordered” and “immoral”, and even provides programmes for LGBT+ people and their families to encourage them to never act on “same-sex attraction”.

Teachers at any Catholic school controlled by the archdiocese are forced to sign a “teacher-minister” contract every year.

The contract states that a teacher must “exemplify Catholic principles in a manner consistent with teacher-minister’s relationship with the Catholic Church and to refrain from any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect discredit on or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic social doctrine or morals.”

Examples of this unacceptable conduct include “cohabitation outside marriage; sexual activity out of wedlock; same-sex sexual activity; use of abortion; use of a surrogate mother; use of in vitro fertilisation or artificial insemination” as well as “promoting” any of these things.

If the contract is breached, “the school immediately may terminate the teacher-minister’s employment”.

Supporters have spoken out about the teacher’s dismissal, branding it “blatant discrimination”.

David Beck, a former student at Alter High School, wrote that the teacher had been fired “for being married to a man”.

He continued: “He’s been married since 2016, one year after marriage equality passed…Supposedly some misguided soul found his marriage certificate and brought it to the attention of the archdiocese.

“How convenient that he is fired now, during the pandemic, as to sweep it so easily under the rug. If these reports are true, this is blatant discrimination, and we need to band together to stop it.”

He said he remembered the teacher as “wonderful, kind, with a sense of humour and a creative spirit”, and added: “He should not be fired for his marriage, which, let us remember, is guaranteed as a human right by the constitution.”

 

More: Alter high school, catholic school, Ohio

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