Hawaii Catholic Schools Implement New Contract: Gay Teachers Can Be Fired


A new teaching contract approved by the Hawaii Catholic schools office states that any educator can be fired if they engage in “homosexual activity” or marry someone of the same sex. The Huffington Post reports:

“The school expressly reserves the right to terminate the employment of any Teacher, who by word or example, denies the teachings or authority of the Church, or whose personal life or conduct is, based on Catholic teaching, immoral,” says a portion of the contract that was obtained by Honolulu Civil Beat.

The contract, which is called the "Standard Teacher Employment Agreement," is for full- and part-time teachers who must sign it every year they work.

HCS-StampThe contract, which is slated to go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year, explicitly says “homosexual activity” and “same-sex unions” are not permitted. The contract also lists other acts that could justify firing, including abortion, in vitro fertilization, or “unmarried cohabitation.”

Michael Rockers, the superintendent of all Hawaii Roman Catholic schools, said that while the provision is new, the expectations outlined in it are not.

He said the ultimate goal is to provide positive role models for students and that if a teacher's homosexuality were made public it would negatively affect the children.

“We want to be authentic about what our moral teaching is,” he said. “We’re trying to be pastoral about this and centered on what’s best for the students.”

Rockers said the written provision was not a response to last year’s legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii. 


  1. David says

    So people who say, “Oh my God,” or text OMG can now be fired for using God’s name in vain? If not, gays and lesbians are being discriminated against and should sue if these stupid contracts are enforced.

  2. Joel says

    Catholicism is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.

    But, let’s face it: if you are dumb enough to believe that there is this guy in Rome who is infallible at certain times, then you are dumb enough for anything.

  3. e.c. says

    It amazes me that “religious” institutions are still allowed to get away with this crap. Cohabitation with someone of either sex is not illegal. Terminating a pregnancy is not illegal. Marrying someone of the same sex is not illegal. None of the “morality” issues they cite have any impact on a teachers qualifications. This is a giant plate of WTF.

  4. David From Canada says

    I’m going to send the Hawaii School Board a 2014 Calendar, just to prove to them that we are really in the 21st Century now. Apparently, they have fallen asleep and still think that the year is 1970. Time to wake up guys!!!

  5. Mike in the Tundra says

    @ E.C. – religious institutions are allowed to do what they want as long as no one is hurt. The state stays away from interfering with them. Sometimes it works for us. My husband and I were married in a church during the time DOMA was in effect both nationally and in our state. The authorities could not stop us, because it was in a religious institution.

  6. Reggie777 says

    “What’s best for the students”? “Being pastoral”? Teaching them bigotry is best for students? Showing them how to discriminate is being “pastoral”? This is why Pope Francis cannot succeed in trying to make the catholic church relevant in today’s world.

  7. Reggie777 says

    “What’s best for the students”? “Being pastoral”? Teaching them bigotry is best for students? Showing them how to discriminate is being “pastoral”? This is why Pope Francis cannot succeed in trying to make the catholic church relevant in today’s world.

  8. Nick says

    This is indicative of the Holy See- it amazes me that people of conscience are still fawning over Pope Frank -saying what a difference, blah, blah blah—it is the same old same old-just repackaged and rebranded. The Church will never be persuaded to treat gay people equally-ever!

  9. ascanius1 says

    nothing new here. there’s always been a morals clause in catholic schools contracts saying you could be fired for doing or saying something that goes against church doctrine. i know a woman who was fired when the administration found ought she had once gotten remarried without getting an annulment.

  10. Clayton says

    These kinds of morals clauses are not new–at least in Louisiana. I have two (straight) sisters who teach in Catholic schools and have to sign contracts like this year after year. They also prohibit contraception, co-habitation outside of marriage, going into certain kinds of bars, etc. etc.

    I frankly think that if all the contraception-using, sex-having, straight and LGBT employees of Catholic Schools came out of the closet and refused to sign, the entire parochial school system would come to a grinding halt.

  11. Lymis says

    “I see nothing in there about child rape. I guess that’s still ok with the church as long as it’s opposite sex.”

    Nope. It’s about the priests. You’d better believe they’d fry a teacher (or a nun) who was credibly accused of child molestation of either gender. And be supremely smug and immune to the irony.

  12. says

    Weirdly, I actually support this. It’s a great way for a bigoted and prejudiced group to codify their prejudice and bigotry, and make clear for all to see exactly how “Christian” they are, and exactly how harmful and ignorant an institution they are. The more they do things like this, the more people with consciences will remove their children from these schools, and refuse to enroll them in the first place. Eventually, the die-hard-bigots will be small in number, and underfunded. Exclusion eventually leads to dwindling numbers, which they’ll find out.

    Fewer people of my generation (I’m recently 32) and younger are raising their children in any form of religion at all. They’re not churchgoers, and they’re not interested in religious schools. They grow up with gay friends, and gay family members, and don’t want their kids to grow up learning bigotry.

    The “Old Guard” may cling to the past, but at their own undoing.

  13. JackFknTwist says

    Have Americans heard of the word and concept; ‘Strike’.
    All out picket; no one passes, no services to that school. no janitors no teachers….nothing.
    All out strike.

    And have the teachers in those schools accepted a contract which allows their fellow gay teachers to be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation ?
    If so , shame on those others teachers.
    When they should be striking they capitulate to religious bigotry. I wouldn’t want a child of mine educated by teachers who are so cowed by religious zealots.

  14. Kevin says

    Let them be bigoted and closed minded in the name of religion. However, not abiding by secular laws regarding no discrimination? Then take away their tax-free status. Then let’s see how quickly they come around.

    They can hide behind the cloak of religion, but it’s really all dollar and cents.

    They will be on the wrong side of history.

  15. Randy says

    And the first time a beloved gay teacher is fired just for being gay, all the students will learn a very valuable lesson about life. And that lesson will not put the Catholic Church in a favorable light.

    They are just alienating another generation against the Catholic Church.

  16. NY2.0 says

    Why would any gay person sign a contract like that? Why would any self-respecting gay work for a catholic school? It is a known fact that the Catholic Church is rife with bigotry and hypocrisy, this isn’t surprising.

  17. Gordon says

    Time for the non-gay teachers to stand in solidarity with these gay teachers. If the Catholic Church cannot find prejudiced and bigoted teachers, the schools will fail and be closed. Of course, with the greed of many bishops and priests many of the Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals are failing now anyway.

  18. Ulu says

    Because the public school district has serious problems, any parents in Honolulu who want their kids to get into university send their kids to private schools, the majority of which are Catholic. It’s to the point that in order to be middle class you have to go to these private religious schools, so boycotting them by not sending ones kids there is a real sacrifice.

    I know many gay instructors at these schools, this will be a real strain on them and they may loose their jobs. It’s hard enough being “out” in professional and personal life for locals, this will just drive these teachers further into the closet.

    Another reason why we should cherish and support our public schools!

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