Saturday, September 4, 2010

Catholic school fires lesbian for marrying her partner

Same sex marriage may be legal in Massachusetts but it's a problem for the Roman Catholic church.
Christine M. Judd, who served as athletic director and dean of students, said she is no longer an employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield school system after a meeting Wednesday with administrators of the Catholic high school.

The diocese listed her departure as a resignation, but Judd said she is still exploring her legal options.

“I was given a choice of termination or resignation,” Judd said. “I’m hurt, but I wish nothing but the best for Cathedral, its students, the parents, the athletic teams, administration and faculty. I bleed purple (the school’s color).”...

“I married my partner this summer,” Judd said. “I was hoping that my loyalty, my professionalism the last 12 years would supersede the current hypocrisy that has already been shown with the Diocese of Springfield.”

Asked to elaborate on her claim of hypocrisy, Judd said she questions if there are lay persons who work for the Catholic diocese who divorce and remarry without an annulment, or employees who use birth control, or men who have had vasectomies, or individuals who are pro-choice on abortion.
A private school is entitled to employ who it wants. So I suspect that Ms Judd is out of luck on this one. But I applaud her for pointing out the hypocrisy and selective enforcement of matters of doctrine. And for making it public.

So, when will the Diocese ask how all those families have only 1 or 2 children? When will they fire a woman teacher for picking up The Pill at the pharmacy? When will they comb the files for re-married parents and employees so they can fire them? After all, if it's just a matter of doctrine, then being gay should be no different than any other act of sexual immorality, right?



Erika Baker said...

IT, you say a private school is entitled to employ who it wants, but does that stretch to sacking who it wants for whatever reason? Is there no employment legislation in the US?

IT said...

Well, Erika, there is wide latitude given on employment, particularly private employers, and particularly religious ones. Most US states are what is called "at will" employment states, where you can be fired for no reason. If you could PROVE you were fired because you are a woman, or a black person, you might have recourse, but it is very difficult to do that if they employer claims you didn't meet performance issues, for example.

In the case of this school, apparently they do have a policy that employees must adhere to Roman Catholic doctrine. Whether they choose to enforce it is up to them.

NancyP said...

Not really. A claim of unequal enforcement of a Standard Operating Procedure could work. It seems as if she did not have an opportunity to speak to schoolkids about the marriage - school was out for the summer - so the only way that the kids would know would be if they searched public records. As if kids want to spend time googling their teachers. She hasn't caused "scandal to the faith", it's the school admin. that has made the kids and parents aware of her marriage.

I have to say, the Roman Catholic Church is positioning itself to become even more irrelevant in North America and Europe.