Ohio Catholic School Fires Lesbian Teacher

by Yesha Callahan
Ohio Catholic School Fires Lesbian Teacher

Carla Hale

A Columbus, Ohio high school Physical Education teacher is out of a job because of information in her mother’s obituary. When Carla Hale’s mother died, the obituary included the name of Hale’s same-sex partner, Julie.  An anonymous parent got wind of this information and wrote to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, appalled that Hale had listed her female partner’s name in an obituary.

After returning to work after her mother’s death, the school administrator showed Hale the letter, and within weeks she was fired from her job, after 19 years of service.

Students and supporters of Hale started a petition on change.org in order to get Hale’s employment reinstated. So far it has over 9,000 signatures:

Discrimination is something that people have fought for generations. The most prominent form of discrimination in today’s society is discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Carla Hale, a beloved teacher at Bishop Watterson High School, was fired because of her sexuality. She was a teacher who cared for her students and treated each one with respect. The school, however, did not reciprocate that respect in its treatment of her. Discrimination and injustice is something that we all have a duty to fight in today’s society. It’s unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control. The school claims its mission is to teach its students about love, acceptance, and tolerance, and yet it did none of this in the way it treated Ms. Hale. That is why we all have to stand up together and let it be known that this decision is unacceptable. If we do not fight this issue now, it will happen again, and that is not something we can allow. When we allow injustice to go unnoticed and unpunished, we all are hurt. We have an obligation to Ms. Hale and ourselves to make sure the school hears us and decides to overturn its decision

According to a contract between the Columbus diocese and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.”

Many of Hale’s supporters are blatantly calling out the double standard that exists in the Roman Catholic Diocese.

“I can understand their opinion on homosexuality when it comes to that issue, but we’re seeing a woman reprimanded for this but you don’t see any reprimand when a teacher gets divorced which the Catholic Church is against. You don’t see them asking in their private life use birth control or one of those heightened matters” says Mike Liggett, one of Hale’s supporters. Liggett is a Watterson alumni who is now a student at The Ohio State University.

“She was a woman of great integrity I only had her for one year at Watterson but was involved with her in other activities, she had the most integrity of staff that worked there, she treated students justly and fairly,” he said.

The diocese claims it’s a personnel matter and refuses to comment.

Hale has filed a grievance under the terms of her labor contract, seeking reinstatement, and is considering other legal options, her attorney said. There is also a possibility that the high school is breaking the law. The Catholic High School is located within the City of Columbus, which has an ordinance on the books making it illegal to deny someone employment based on, among many factors, sexual orientation.

The question for the courts will be if Bishop Watterson, being a religious institution, is exempt from the law.

Clutchettes, do you think the teacher should have been terminated?

  • TC

    This is a hard one because as a homosexual she’s essentially saying she doesn’t agree with the God that this religion/institution represents, that it’s a sin not how you’re born (apart from being born in sin). But due to God’s grace there should have been some conversations had with her vs. flat out firing, we’d all need to be let go of due to one sin or another.

  • Lisss

    “I can understand their opinion on homosexuality when it comes to that issue, but we’re seeing a woman reprimanded for this but you don’t see any reprimand when a teacher gets divorced which the Catholic Church is against. You don’t see them asking in their private life use birth control or one of those heightened matters”

    And therein lies the real problem for Catholic institutions…or any religious institution for that matter. You either stand by ALL of your convictions…or dont stand at all.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    Of course I don’t think she should have been fired.

    But I am curious, does she really want to go back to work there? It seems like it would be awkward, to say the least.

  • i.mean.really

    Please show me the biblical passage where God condemns homosexuality. It must be a passage where the words are spoken by God, not Moses or Paul or anyone else. Bet you can’t find any. The “rules” of behavior defined directly by God are the 10 commandments, and they don’t mention homosexuality at all.

    In its nearly 2,000 years of existence the Catholic Church as condoned incest, war, slavery and all forms of imperialism; it’s hardly a beacon of righteousness.

  • LifeasKansas

    So, an excellent teacher who happens to be a lesbian get fired, but a priest who molests little kids gets reassigned? Oh okay.

  • Shirl

    Get out of my head!!! I was just thinking the same thing.

  • Fantastico

    Please eating shellfish and having premarital sex is also a sin that does not “agree” with God.

    This was wrong I hate when people use religion to discrimiHATE people.

    This type of “logic” kept many Christians supporting and benefiting from Slavery and Colonialism. I don’t support that and I don’t support this.

  • Fantastico

    It’s called logic to those who believe. *sarcasm*

  • Jaslene

    Come on. She is a P.E. teacher and looks like that and it took them 19 years to figure out she was a lesbian? *side eye* She looks stereotypically lesbian and has the profession too.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    the sanctimony is killing me inside.

  • LemonNLime

    Nothing about this is new. I went to a Catholic school in Ohio and 3 of our teachers were fired for being gay. One of the many reasons I am anti-Catholic to this day.

  • Jeanfor

    Romans 1:18-27

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Let me start by making two observations. First, this is about God being mad: “For the wrath of God [orge] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men….”

    Second, there is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger. Men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). They exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25). Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” (v. 24). They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26). Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

    This text is a crystal clear condemnation of homosexuality by the Apostle Paul in the middle of his most brilliant discourse on general revelation. Paul is not speaking to a localized aberration of pedophilia or temple prostitution that’s part of life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture. He is talking about a universal condition of man.

    Regarding the same-sex behavior itself, here are the specific words Paul uses: a lust of the heart, an impurity and dishonoring to the body (v. 24); a degrading passion that’s unnatural (v. 29); an indecent act and an error (v. 27); not proper and the product of a depraved mind (v. 28).

    There’s only one way the clear sense of this passage can be missed: if someone is in total revolt against God. According to Paul, homosexual behavior is evidence of active, persistent rebellion against one’s Creator. Verse 32 shows it’s rooted in direct, willful, aggressive sedition against God–true of all so-called Christians who are defending their own homosexuality. God’s response is explicit: “They are without excuse” (v. 20).

  • Jeanfor

    No, they were not fired for being gay, but for having a gay relationship. It would have been the same it the teacher were having an affair! Stop telling a lie.

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