Comments

  1. Matt26 says

    In a civilized world firing someone of being gay or marrying another man/woman is illegal. It is also illegal to ask, if the person is gay. In a civilized world. But in the Catholic world…

  2. JMC says

    This is terrible. Gay men and women really need to stop f*cking with these private Catholic institutions – they’re well within their rights to fire people who don’t align with their religion, and everyone knows Catholicism is immensely and unapologetically homophobic. It’s basically an inevitability that these people will be fired, and I can’t imagine their work environment isn’t hostile or at least terribly awkward in the meantime.

    Congratulations to him and his new husband though! I hope his happiness over his new union will overshadow the distress of losing his job and that he’s able to find a new teaching position soon.

  3. Rafael says

    How sad is that? I feel ashamed to call myself a Catholic knowing that our religion provides a safe environment for the spread of bigotry, hate and injustice. I wish Ken and his partner all the best in their pursuits.

  4. V-8 says

    I have some gay friends who teach music in catholic schools… the deal, it seems, is that they seem to have way better musical programs than other religious and public schools… I’d even speculate that 75% of all music teacher r gay (no evidence lol), but we only hear about the ones getting fired… it is sad, indeed…. and after 17 years one can presume they have a home and strong relations in their community, so relocating for a job may not be an option….. =-(

  5. Pete N SFO says

    Are all the hired teachers practicing Katholics? Was that a condition of employment? It’s the wrong title, but is there a “Morals Clause” in his agreement?

    I feel sorry for him but there’s also a part of me that thinks, why were you working for this heinous religious group for 17 years?

  6. Kathryn says

    Same old bigotry and prejudice from the Catlicks institutions.
    Looking at this from a child safeguarding angle;
    Would have thought male and married to a same sex partner would have been ideal for an all girls school, given catholic institutions and sexual shenanigans an’ all.
    Sorry you lost your job and hope you both have a long and happy marriage and you find a good new teaching position where you can be open and honest.

  7. CPT_Doom says

    I am sure they fire all teachers who get divorced, right? And only hire teachers who are Catholics, right? Maybe they limit their faculty and staff to Christians – no Mormons, Southern Baptists or Jews allowed (Mormons and Baptists are not Christians, according to the Catholics).

  8. Lucas H says

    That’s awful :( Good luck to them! There are are still people who do not realize that you can legally be fired for being gay. And not just in the deep south.

  9. says

    There is really no hateful low the bigoted Catholic Church won’t sink to. Having just gotten married a month ago myself, the idea of being fired from your job after 17 years just because you married your longtime love is truly evil. And this is in LA! Why are Catholics allowed to function like this in California?

  10. Peter says

    As a recovered catholic, I cannot understand how anyone would work for this institution anyway. I certainly would not give them my precious talent. I fired the church!

  11. anon says

    Divorce doesn’t appear in the newspapers so by the PR standard of this diocese that would be okay. It’s not the actual heresy, it’s whether the heresy ends up publicized that they are worried about.

  12. Kathryn says

    So, “dont tell, just lie” is alive and well in the Catholic church, if you want to keep your job. Truly “who am I to Judge” is definately not working P.Francis.
    Well, we all knew it was a PR stunt, didn’t we?

  13. andrew says

    Congratulations on your marriage. I expect that with 17 years in the field of education other doors will open for you, now that this door has been so rudely closed.

  14. Bill says

    @tim b: What’s expected is that this school, which is not a church, follow California employment laws, The teacher in question was teaching English, not religion, and never brought his personal life up in discussions with students. It claims to be a college-preparatory school.

    http://www.ca-employment-lawyers.com/Sexual-Orientation-Discrimination.htm has an overview.

    This case is a clear example of discrimination based on sexual orientation: they do not fire straight people for doing exactly what this couple did – get married and end up with a wedding picture in a newspaper. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal in California, including discrimination by employers.

  15. Clayton says

    You know, I think what the Catholic school did was reprehensible. But excuse me if I think that ALL gays and lesbians who are priests, nuns, monks, church organists, choir leaders, choir members, school teachers and coaches are complicit. If all the closted LGBT people working for the church and its associated schools came out of the closet and said, “I refuse to play your sick little game any more,” the church would either have to change its policies or shut down. And either outcome would be preferable to what we have now.

  16. Marco Luxe says

    A gay man at an all girls school? The administrators should pray all the male teachers are gay. Have they learned nothing from the priest scandals?

  17. Matt Kuksa says

    Don’t know how I feel about this one. I’m against gay marriage…but he didn’t go to work announcing he was gay and marrying another man. It was in the paper (maybe he should have thought twice about allowing that to happen.) If this were an all boys school, that would be another issue…but seeing that it was an all girls school, though, he really wasn’t much of a threat to the students.

  18. Joel says

    I’m for same-sex marriage, but I believe that freedom of religion should be respected. (I’m an atheist and personally think all religions are stupid) If this church school doesn’t receive any public funding, then I’m fine with them having these rules because religions can hold whatever views they want, provided that in the terms of employment contract he knew that this could be a consequence. If however, they receive any public funding at all, then they have no separation from the state and need to follow its laws.

  19. emjayay says

    Teaching at a parochial Catholic college prep high school does not make you complicit in anything. He was an English teacher. He needed a job. He was apparently good at doing the job he was hired to do since he ended up being department head. He was not more complicit than a plumber who fixes the school pipes or a construction worker who built the building or the electic company who supplys the power.

    A Catholic school like that isn’t exactly Jesus camp. It probably has high academic standards. Besides when you teach you are really working for the benefit of the kids, not the church.

    He’s not a nun or a priest or a brother. I hope California law is on his side. Anyone know about that?

  20. emjayay says

    “Their house, their rules”? That was the Woolworth’s lunch counter side of the arguement back in the 60’s.

    And the guy who thinks maybe they should have kept the wedding out of the papers – oh, back under the rock you gay people with your shameful legal activities? And besides, it’s not like there aren’t a few other ways for information to get around these days. Do you think any of the kids might know about Facebook?

  21. terry says

    a school run by a religious group has a right push its agenda. I’m a teacher looking for work and I will not apply to a school that can fire me for being gay. If he didn’t know his employer’s position on homosexuality then he should have been fired for being stupid.

  22. Bill says

    @Terry: it was known for years by both the students and staff that he was gay, although he never mentioned it personally to his students. It was only an issue when he took advantage of his legal right to get married and a presumably innocuous wedding picture appeared in a newspaper.

    An article in the Advocate cited a recent Supreme Court decision that allowed religious schools to ignore non-discrimination laws, but it only applied to employees who fit a ministerial exception. That case involved the ADA, where the school distinguished between “lay” teachers and “called” teachers, with the latter having to meet various religious requirements, and used that as an excuse to fire a disabled teacher who was returning to work after an illness. That decision does not apply in this case unless he taught religious subjects or needed some Catholic religious training to qualify for his position. The article did not mention any. Based on what I read, I think he has a good chance if he sues under California laws, but what I saw might not be the full story, and what might seem like trivial details are important legally.

    I don’t think it is acceptable to allow people to set up fake-religious businesses as a way of getting around non-discrimination laws. I.e., the KKK should not be allowed to declare itself a religion and open restaurants that refuse to serve Blacks.

  23. Sam says

    Since this posting St. Lucy’s students are protesting in masses against the firing and in support to have their teacher reinstated. As expected, St. Lucy’s will definitely NOT entertain the idea.

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