NewsEducation / July 9, 2019

Cathedral High School, Teacher Fired For Same-Sex Marriage Reach Settlement

Cathedral High School, Teacher Fired For Same-Sex Marriage Reach Settlement

Student organizer Brooklynn Thorpe uses a megaphone to amplify music as fellow students lead school chants and cheers outside of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis during a protest Thursday, June 27, 2019.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

A teacher who was fired from an Indianapolis Catholic school last month because he is in a same-sex marriage reached a settlement with the school.

Attorney for the unnamed teacher Kathleen DeLaney said Tuesday the teacher and Cathedral High School resolved the situation to their “mutual satisfaction and benefit.”

DeLaney says the teacher and school thanked each other for making a confidential settlement that will help the teacher find a new job.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis told the school to fire the teacher or separate from the Catholic Church because it does not support gay marriage.

Cathedral's board Chairman Matt Cohoat and President Rob Bridges called the firing "an agonizing decision" in a statement last month. They said the decision came after nearly two years of discussions with Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson.

Cathedral leaders said they decided to terminate the teacher to save the school. If the Archdiocese would no longer recognize the school, Cathedral would be prohibited from holding some religious services, and it would no longer be recognized as a Catholic school by the Archdiocese.

The firing of the Cathedral teacher came less than a week after the Archdiocese cut ties with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. Its leaders refused to fire a married gay teacher. School leaders said Brebeuf's independence and self-governance blocks the Archdiocese from dictating who works at the school.

Archbishop Thompson defended the Church last month during a press conference. He says employees cannot be in a public same-sex marriage or formal union.

“It’s not about orientation here it’s about a situation that may be contrary to the church’s teaching that we are addressing,” Thompson said.

Last year, the Archdiocese asked Roncalli High School to place guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald on administrative leave after school officials found out about her marriage to a woman. Fitzgerald filed two discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission related to the issue.

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