Skip to comments.Furor over gay teacherís firing may pit city of Columbus against Roman Catholic diocese
Posted on 04/24/2013 7:34:41 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
COLUMBUS, OH, April 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) The firing of a teacher at Bishop Watterson Catholic High School after it was learned she was involved in a long-term homosexual relationship may pit the Catholic diocese against a Columbus city ordinance barring employers from discriminating based on sexuality.
Gym instructor Carla Hale, 57, was fired last week after an anonymous parent wrote the Diocese of Columbus to complain because in an obituary for Hales mother, Hale was listed as a survivor alongside her longtime lesbian partner, Julie.
Hale signed a morality clause as part of her contract, affirming that Catholic school personnel are expected to be examples of moral behavior and professionalism, and acknowledging her employment could be terminated for immorality or serious unethical conduct. Because the Roman Catholic Church holds homosexual behavior to be gravely immoral, the Diocese of Columbus found her to be in violation of her contract, and fired her.
Now, Hale wants her job back. She has filed a grievance with the teachers union, and her lawyer, Thomas Tootle, told the Columbus Dispatch that if Hales union grievance does not succeed, her next step will be to sue under the citys anti-discrimination law.
That means the diocesan officials who fired Hale may soon face legal action from the city of Columbus, fines, and possibly even jail time.
Columbus city law deems it a misdemeanor for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on sexual preference. It is also illegal for employers to have policies that discriminate based on sexual preference. There is no exemption for religious organizations or other employers who object to homosexuality on religious grounds. A guilty verdict carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The Diocese of Columbus refused to comment on the case, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters.
Hales is the latest in a series of firings of Catholic school teachers who have publicly opposed Church teaching on homosexuality. Another Ohio Catholic high school teacher, Mike Moroski of Cincinnati, was let go in February after posting on his blog that he supports same-sex marriage. Rather than fight the diocese, Morski launched a political career. Al Fischer, an openly homosexual music teacher in St. Louis, was fired from a Catholic school and church last year after announcing he was traveling to New York to marry his same-sex partner.
Although none of those cases resulted in legal action, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in January that religious employees of religious organizations cannot sue for employment discrimination. The Court defined religious employees as employees of religious organizations who have religious teaching authority. Catholic school teachers seem likely to fall under this category, especially those who sign morality clauses promising to uphold the faith.
As of this writing, more than 40,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the Diocese of Columbus reinstate Hales employment and issue a public apology.
RE: Perhaps she should seek a position at an Islamic school.
Catholics merely tolerate homosexuality.... do you know what Sharia law does to homosexuals?
RE: Hale signed a morality clause as part of her contract
Herein lies the problem -— She will insist that SHE IS MORAL.
It now becomes her morality vs the Catholic church’s.... as I said before, if this goes to court, the State HAS TO LEGISLATE MORALITY.
It will either be a choice of Christian morality or lesbian morality but choose the state must.
Only if they have gay sex with adults.....having sex with boys is perfectly okiley dokiley to Muzzies.
RE: All legislation is an expression of morality codified in statute.
Precisely. And I agree.
The only weak spot there is this — WHAT EXPRESSION OF MORALITY will it be?
Will it be influenced by Christian morality or something else ( e.g. Gay morality ).
Of course it’s unconstitutional. But when has this government ever cared about that?
but folk keep voting into office those who would take those alternative health and education options from them, so it’s really true: we get the government we deserve. Bummer.
Let the Catholic Church threaten to close all its schools in the Cleveland Diocese that are affected by this silly law
It is the Columbus Diocese, but it is a good point.
It was based on actions not "preference."
Morality Clauses, particularly at religious institutions, are generally boiler plate. If you have scene one, you have scene them all.
The SCOTUS has already ruled on this issue. They did so 9-0. Any religious institution has the right to decide WHO is minister in that religion. A teacher, OF ANY SUBJECT, is a minister in a religious organization. Local law CAN NOT, trump the first, or any, amendment to the Constitution. The Liberals hold onto this for abortion, privacy and Miranda, even though none of these are actually in the Constitution. Not only is Religious Freedom in the Constitution, it is the #1 Amendment.
Please provide a link to one you’ve “scene”(sic) so I can verify what you claim.
Ohio passed its amendment by 62% in 2004, it would probably be pretty close now. Consider that CA passed prop 22 by 61% in 2000. Ca’s prop. 8 was 52% in 2008. So even thinking that Ohio didn’t slide as fast as CA it would probably be in the low-mid 50% ranges if it was voted on now.
Do your own research.I decide what I link to. Much like a religious institution decides what they decide is moral, or who they consider a minister of that religion.
I will give you a hint: search ‘Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church’.
It is SETTLED LAW. She could have been removed without a morals clause in the contract. These issues come up with teachers who become pregnant out of wedlock, had abortions or live with a partner, (gay or straight), all the time. If they work for a religious institution they are subject to termination based on their PRIVATE actions as well as their public actions.
This is settled law and that is the reason why they try to gin up public protest. They hope to shame an institution because they know that they will not win in court.
It is settled eclesiatical law that the church (and most churches) love the sinner but hate the sin. A good lawyer, or even a mediocre one could easily point out the conflict between the church teaching and the school rules since to infer homosexual activity is not necessarily reasonable. My point from the beginning of this conversation is that such a suit could be very interesting.
The lawyers who brought the case to the Supreme Court where slapped down like the simpletons that they are. The Constitution trumps local statute.
“but folk keep voting into office those who would take those alternative health and education options from them, so its really true: we get the government we deserve. Bummer.”
You’re right, but NJ (like CA) is paying a price: Taxpaying citizens (and the companies that hire them) are becoming more scarce, and these toilets are being left with illegal aliens, the permanent welfare underclass (with ranks swelled by whites who’ve learned how to play the game in the last 20 years), and the government bureaucracy required to “administer” them. The gubmint jobs are being shed because the “ants” are fleeing while the “grasshoppers” contribute NOTHING to their own upkeep. It was nice to see so many NJ cities lose municipal employees; they weren’t paying them anyway, and when our property tax increases were capped at 2% we didn’t have to pay them anymore either.
What sin? Prove sexual activity is taking place. It can’t be done without witnesses. You are missing my point entirely that most churches are on record saying the sinner is loved and accepted while the sin is hated. There is no objective evidence of sin in this case, only putative inference. It’s an interesting legal conflict.
I really don’t give a rats south side how you would decide the matter; like mine your opinion of how the courts will rule means nothing. Less even.
not to butt in here, BUT ... if the fired teacher had her mother’s obit list her lesbian partner as such, there is a public profession, a proclamation if you will, of a relationship that is presumed to be sexual in nature.
Whether it’s sin or not, whether they engage in homosexual activity or not, the teacher engaged in what her employer and her employment contract consider dismissable amoral behavior.
Why do you claim the school/diocese would have to prove with witnesses, apparently eye witnesses in your view, that they actually engaged in homosexual behavior when they have published it existence?
Presumed by whom? Whose presumption has the force of law? I don't believe these are necessarily settled areas of the law. Certainly a determined attorney can build a case and I think that makes for an interesting matter which is my only point in all of this discussion.
You don’t have a point. If I may be so bold, you are pointless on this matter.
Your legal qualifications are nil, they are even less than mine since you lack basic reading comprehension. So let me take you by the hand and explain it to you like a first grader since you seem to be unable comprehend a simple statement of fact:
1)She was mentioned in an obituary as a survivor of her mother along with her lesbian partner Julie.
2)An anonymous letter was written to the Diocese of Columbus, HER EMPLOYER. It stated that she was involved in a lesbian relationship and publicly stated a long time sexual relationship with Julie. The Obituary was offered as proof of said relationship.
3)She was confronted about her ‘living arrangement’ and her ‘public admission’ in the obituary as being a member of an active lesbian relationship. A serious MORAL FAULT in the eyes of the Church, HER EMPLOYER!
4)She admitted that she was involved in a committed lesbian relationship with her lover Julie and lived together and would continue to do so. Which is her right.
5)She was fired FOR CAUSE under the EEOC Exemption for ministerial employees in a religious institution. As is the Churches right.
6) This is an exemption that was held as proper 9-0 by the Supreme Court of the United States in the HOSANNA-TABOR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH AND SCHOOL v. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION ET AL. They specifically sighted the FIRST Amendment as inviolable in regards to the Church’s right to chose who they employ as ministers in their schools and as a Church they are also allowed to decide WHO IS A MINISTER.
7) The Roman Catholic Church, as MOST religious institutions and schools do, consider all their employees as ministers in the Church.
8) She will bitch and moan and cry that the mean old nasty Catholic Church is too mean to allow her to indoctrinate CHILDREN through her immoral lifestyle. Children who have parents that pay thousands of dollars a year to have their children instructed in Catholic Moral teachings. Boo-Hoo! I am a victim of the Mean old Catholics.
FU@K her, she isn’t in charge of the Church. They don’t sweat or fear her, the City of Columbus, the State of Ohio or even Barack Commie O’Bumbler.
They outlasted Nero, Henry the VIII, Robespierre and a rouges gallery of malcontents a lot tougher than them.
It is a losing case for this woman and for the City of Columbus, and they know it. They will not file charges, they will not win if they file a civil lawsuit. That is just the fact of the matter.
They KNOW FOR A FACT that they would not only lose but lose BIG TIME! They would also open themselves up to a very costly counter suit, AND THEY KNOW IT! That is why they will go no farther than jaw-boning for this dyke.
Read the case and the analysis. It is settled law. They do not have to PROVE she is involved in sin, SHE ADMITS to it. She doesn’t deny that she is an active lesbian.
Lesbian activity and the public stance that it is a moral good is in the eyes of the Church a sin. According to the SCOTUS, their eyes are the only ones that matter in the case of employment in their schools. The fact that she espouses a contrary position on a moral teaching of the Church publicly, IN ITSELF, is reason enough for LEGAL termination with cause.
She is gone! She knows it, her ambulance chasing lawyer knows it, and so does the City of Columbus legal representatives. They aren’t going to touch it with a ten foot pole.
As far as hard proof, that hair cut is proof enough!
As an aside: I love Muir Woods, I asked my wife to marry me when we visited Muir Woods.
The SCOTUS ruling in Hosanna-Tabor: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf