Minnesota Catholic School Forces Teacher to Resign for Disagreeing with Church on Gay Marriage

Trish Cameron, a Minnesota fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph's School in Moorhead, Minnesota was forced to resign after responding to a questionnaire given to her by the school which asked her about the church's teachings.

StjosephsCameron, who had been at the school for 11 years, said it was her personal support for gay marriage that got her fired.

The Forum reports:

In a letter sent to St. Joseph’s staff and families, Trish Cameron said she was told June 1 she would not be offered a contract for the following school year because of her response to a question on a self-evaluation.

The question concerned whether she supported the Catholic Church’s teachings, she wrote in the letter.

Her response, as quoted in her letter, reads: “I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).”

After a later discussion with school administration, Cameron said in the letter that she told them she did not agree with the church’s stance against gay marriage. Because of her dissent, she was asked to write a brief letter of resignation.

The school sent a letter to parents calling it “an unfortunate circumstance” but said it was the school’s “fiduciary responsibility” to ask her to leave.


  1. Francis says

    Again, sad to see, you sleep with dogs, you’ll catch fleas. But that doesn’t excuse this blatant all-out assault we’re not seeing from Catholic bigots against our community and anyone, gay and straight, who isn’t openly anti-gay. With that being said, if this is what they want, then ultimately, they’re hurting their own cause. Just says it all, really, that a teacher for 11 years at the school suddenly becomes unqualified because she’s not anti-gay, rather than her actual teaching skills. Sick people.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    I have no problem with parochial schools of any religion enforcing doctrinal standards on their staff long as they run they school without government money. If this school gets a government subsidy of any kind beyond tax-exemption (which also applies to non-religious charitable institutions and schools) then they need to follow government hiring guidelines and not discriminate. This is not rocket-science folks. If you take our money, you must not discriminate. Period.

  3. Mic says

    Pfffbtbt to that. The school made it clear: they have a FIDUCIARY responsibility, not a MORAL responsibility. Which means their finances are held hostage by bigots. Or so they claim.

    Of course the FIDUCIARY responsibility of the POPE is about to change revenue streams when this teacher and the ACLU sue the church and school.

    Five million ought to be just about right.

    Maybe the Pope can hand pay her out of that Priest Pedophile fund.

  4. Angela Channing says

    I have so many mixed feelings about this. If Ms. Cameron really supports marriage equality, then this is the break she needs to lead a life with a clearer conscious. (Of course, very few of us get to lead pure lives.) Then again I hate to see someone lose their job and if she were really desperate, I would not blame her for lying to keep a job to feed her kids.

    But Francis is right. There is this zealous enforcement of towing the doctrine line when the church continues to cover up sexual abuse, and now, financial crimes, among other things. They often single out the women in these situations.

    Something is stirring in the American Catholic Church. I would not be surprised if we saw some type of revolt. It is starting to happen in Ireland. I bet in 10 years, the church in the US will be a shell of its former self.

  5. says

    Meanwhile, Christians are constantly claiming that they are being discriminated against (e.g., that wedding photographer in NM). But someone it is perfectly fine for them to discriminate against people.

  6. RWG says

    Isn’t this the way Stalin rolled? I guess the Bishops will soon be opening “re-education camps” for errant Catholics who don’t tow the Papal line. The disappearances start soon after.

  7. Hue-Man says

    Questions for catholic laity: Do you agree with church leadership? If not, what are you doing to change their policies or change them? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. HINT: Joe Rat. and his fellow criminals need lots of $$$$$ to live the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.

  8. Michaelandfred says

    Hard to believe church attendance is going down… Firing great teachers for not being rabidly anti gay, threatening to stop feeding the poor if gays can marry, closing adoption centers rather than give children to qualified gay parents, refuse to give the after morning pill to rape victims, what’s not to love?

  9. Dave says

    America is not Russia or Nazi Germany, it is time these anti-gay Catholics stop their hate and discrimination against American who stand up for the equal rights and freedoms of all Americans.

  10. Hollywood, CA says

    I really hope that some of these schools that are in desperate need of good teachers are reaching out to these teachers. I also hope that teachers who are gay and working in Catholic schools are preparing an exit strategy so they’re not caught off guard if this happens to them.


  11. Hollywood, CA says

    Ditto at ALEX PARRISH – “I have no problem with parochial schools of any religion enforcing doctrinal standards on their staff long as they run they school without government money.”

  12. says

    It’s a good thing the teacher wasn’t disagreeing with the leaders of Iran, she’d be beheaded while the rest of here in America cry and moan because we’re so mistreated compared to the gay men in Iran who were just hanged.

  13. Vint says

    @MIC: though we are used to seeing the word “fiduciary” only used in reference to finances, in fact it means “relating to trust or faith”. The school is claiming, awkwardly, to have a duty to defend the “universal faith” against the dire threat posed to it by a fifth-grade teacher who doesn’t hate gays enough. The justification statement, though indefensible, is therefore slightly less ridiculous than it seems on face; it’s the church’s zero tolerance for freedom of conscience that is objectionable, its actions rather than its statements.

  14. Pete N SFO says

    And I’m certain that they are determining who among staff is using birth control & those people will be fired as well?

    No? So infringements to Khurch teaching are only relevant when it involves homos?

    Yes, your policy is perfectly clear.

    How ANYONE continues to walk thru their doors is completely beyond my understanding.

  15. MikeBoston says

    Surprisingly, I don’t have a problem with a teacher in a Catholic school being asked to resign after admitting she doesn’t support church teachings. She knew or ahould have known the deal going into it.

    My question is: Why are there church-attached schools that are subsidized by taxpayers? Yes, tax exemptions are nothing but a subsidy borne by all taxpayers.

    Maybe it is time we say enough is enough. If the Church wants to control the education of children (doesn’t sound good to me), then the Church should shoulder the full cost.

  16. doctrine uber alles says

    Interesting that there are now more references to “the American Catholic church” than ever before. It always used to be “the Roman Catholic church.” Little changes in language preparing the way for the collapse of Roman rule?

    If a major earthquake reduced Vatican City to rubble I doubt that it would ever be rebuilt. Even without an act of god the foundations are getting shaky. (irony intended)

  17. Bob says

    another reminder that catholicism is based on lying. Al she had to do was be like tens of millions of catholics who use birth control , but take the sacrament .
    Notice that she said she would not violate doctrine in the classroom , there for those who said here is that that was the right to fire her are wrong .

  18. Edward LeMay says

    I was born RC and every day I put more distance between me and that CORPORATION. So, let’s see a bunch of guys in dresses who call themselves holy mother church are behaving like LADY who doth protest to much, me thinks. It’s why I prefer Shakespeare to Sunday Mass. What a gaggle of hypocrites. They destroy incomes and lives, but object and you are a threat to their right to Religious Freedom!

  19. tyler says

    i went to this school and i know her personally and it makes me sick to see her leave she was an amazing teacher. she told the truth and look at what happened. yes i do understand it says this in the bible and yes it is a catholic school and all but she does NOT teach her opinions, i would know. i wonder how many lied and said theyre against it just so they wouldnt lose their job…

  20. Gregv says

    @Tyler: There are sentences in the Bible saying that women must not teach men. There are other words there that say that divorcees must never get remarried. There are other parts that say that disobedient children must be murdered. (Only that part about divorce was Jesus’ opinion, and the others were OTHER people’s statements in the Bible).

    There is nothing anywhere in the Bible, though, that says that anyone should deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, let alone lose their job over it. Those ideas come from the Vatican (tge same Vatican that used to excommunicate left-handed people, denounced and had people arrested for saying the earth was round and revolves around the sun, and covered up for child-molesters in its ranks.).
    The VAST majority of American Cathilics don’t agree with a lot of the Church doctrine (just look at surveys that show how many use birth control).
    I know a lot of Catholic school teachers, and every single one I know plays a game of deceit with the students. They live with and/or have sex with their own partners (on birth control), don’t believe the Vbarican is any kind of moral authority worth listening to on anything, etc.
    The tesukt is that kids there don’t get a full, real edication. They get an indictrination, which prevents, rather than encourages, thoughtful examination of facts and issues.
    In that sense, I disagree with thise who say they should be able to do what they want as long as they don’t get subsidized. Every kid deserves to learn how to learn, rather than to be indoctrinated to avoid thinking things through.

  21. says

    The church used to have a policy where members were allowed to disagree with the church on moral grounds. I’m sure that policy still exists.

    Apparently, it only exists in name.

    The leaders of that institution won’t be happy until they have driven away so many members that there isn’t an institution left.

  22. Jack M says

    @Alan, just because gay and gay-supportive people in other countries are treated even worse than they are in the US, that doesn’t make it OK to treat people badly here.

    I know what you are trying to say, but nothing other people do makes it right somewhere else.

  23. says

    “If you take government money, you follow government rules.”


    So, if you take a student loan, you must support government opinions?

    If you take food stamps, you are required to vote for Barack Obama?

    If you are on welfare, you lose your right to free speech?

    I sincerely hope anyone who voices such a stupid opinion is physically incapable of voting at all.

  24. Fritz says

    @ Steve Kellmeyer: That’s not what he’s saying. If you take government money to provide a service, then you don’t get to discriminate against people in providing that service.

  25. ELI says

    @ Steve Kellmeyer
    Why do you need nanny state government to keep your schools going? Why do you have to pick my pocket – oops I know you like to use the PC word ‘tax’— to pay for the religous schooling of other people’s children? Why don’t you believe that parents should be responsible for their children instead of the government?
    And my last question, Why do you need to live off of government welfare instead of getting a real job like a man?

  26. cory says

    Nice to see that a Catholic school is willing to stay firm and steadfast to Church teaching and Tradition.

  27. david says

    I am sorry but two men taking turns ejaculating into each other’s smelly anuses is not normal no matter how hard you try to spin it.

  28. ELI says

    So you’re happy that the church does not believe in free thought or opinion. To you there is no place for love in your church but there is a special place for hate and bigotry.

  29. ELI says

    Okay, now we know how you feel about what you have been doing with you’re father. But what to you think of the story?

  30. CPT_Doom says

    It appears from the article that part of Ms. Cameron’s responsibilities included religion classes, which makes this action totally legal. The Supreme Court just upheld the rights of religious-affiliated institutions like this to require anyone with a “pastoral” job to tow the line on church doctrine and a religion teacher would be included in that ruling.

    That does not mean that the school isn’t being hypocritical here. I am pretty sure if Ms. Cameron’s problem with the church’s teachings involved, say, believing in the death penalty, nothing would have happened. Only on the issues of abortion and LGBT equality is the Church demanding complete obedience, as they desperately attempt to deflect criticism from their decades of criminality. I also find it funny that two of the religion teachers I had in Catholic high school back in the 80s were divorced and no one seemed to have a problem with it. I guess the Church was less paranoid back then.

    Of course, I would not have issued a resignation letter had I been in Ms. Cameron’s shoes. Let the bastards fire me and fight me on the unemployment.

    As for those of us who believe in the inherent humanity of all human beings, including LGBT ones, it is high time we begin treating the Catholic Church as the social pariah it is. We should be running a nationwide campaign to limit donations to any charities that are affiliated with, or do business with, the Catholic Church. As long as they continue to cover up decades, if not centuries, of child rapes, witness intimidation, fraud and payments of hush money, no on in society should trust them.

  31. says

    I admire this woman for standing up for what she believes in in spite of it putting her job in danger. Thank you, Ms. Cameron. Your sacrifice is a bigger message to your students than years of teaching could accomplish.

  32. Jay says

    The Holy Inquisition is alive and well in Minnesota. More of the evil influence of Pope Maledict XVI.

  33. Doeug Pearson says

    I admit that I did not thoroughly read every comment, but it seems as though most folks making comments are perfectly a peace criticizing an organization for taking a principled stand when the entire gay rights movement was a principled stand. You seem to be saying that the only ones who are allow to take a stand are those who agree with you.

    This school is a Roman Catholic School and the Roman Catholic Church is completely and utterly opposed to homosexual acts and is completely and utterly PRO Marriage in the traditional 1 man/1 woman/life long sense… this is no surprise to any of you.

    How could they do otherwise and remain faithful to what they purport to believe.

    I don’t understand why the GAY Rights folks insist that everyone has to agree with them or they are a bigot. I see how it makes me a traditional believing Christian that adheres to what the Church teaches willingly… but I don’t see the bigot thing.

  34. Keith Richard Radford Jr says

    As a nation we are being held hostage to indoctrination. The Networks make the billions by encouraging inner strife within American politics while saber rattling war monger babies with their gun and bombs, all stamped with an expiration date call for the overthrowing of nations and lands because some land or nation is having sex as a justification for the plunder and land take overs while steeling their treasures and fine art. End sex laws and have peace on earth. In the 60’s people were so close with the movements calling for making love to war. Now we are at that threshold again after time again we all suffer when all we have to do is stop. I would rather be F**Ked and loved.