Ohio Catholic School Fires Lesbian Teacher

Carla Hale

A Columbus, Ohio high school Physical Education teacher is out of a job because of information in her mother’s obituary. When Carla Hale’s mother died, the obituary included the name of Hale’s same-sex partner, Julie.  An anonymous parent got wind of this information and wrote to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, appalled that Hale had listed her female partner’s name in an obituary.

After returning to work after her mother’s death, the school administrator showed Hale the letter, and within weeks she was fired from her job, after 19 years of service.

Students and supporters of Hale started a petition on change.org in order to get Hale’s employment reinstated. So far it has over 9,000 signatures:

Discrimination is something that people have fought for generations. The most prominent form of discrimination in today’s society is discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Carla Hale, a beloved teacher at Bishop Watterson High School, was fired because of her sexuality. She was a teacher who cared for her students and treated each one with respect. The school, however, did not reciprocate that respect in its treatment of her. Discrimination and injustice is something that we all have a duty to fight in today’s society. It’s unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control. The school claims its mission is to teach its students about love, acceptance, and tolerance, and yet it did none of this in the way it treated Ms. Hale. That is why we all have to stand up together and let it be known that this decision is unacceptable. If we do not fight this issue now, it will happen again, and that is not something we can allow. When we allow injustice to go unnoticed and unpunished, we all are hurt. We have an obligation to Ms. Hale and ourselves to make sure the school hears us and decides to overturn its decision

According to a contract between the Columbus diocese and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.”

Many of Hale’s supporters are blatantly calling out the double standard that exists in the Roman Catholic Diocese.

“I can understand their opinion on homosexuality when it comes to that issue, but we’re seeing a woman reprimanded for this but you don’t see any reprimand when a teacher gets divorced which the Catholic Church is against. You don’t see them asking in their private life use birth control or one of those heightened matters” says Mike Liggett, one of Hale’s supporters. Liggett is a Watterson alumni who is now a student at The Ohio State University.

“She was a woman of great integrity I only had her for one year at Watterson but was involved with her in other activities, she had the most integrity of staff that worked there, she treated students justly and fairly,” he said.

The diocese claims it’s a personnel matter and refuses to comment.

Hale has filed a grievance under the terms of her labor contract, seeking reinstatement, and is considering other legal options, her attorney said. There is also a possibility that the high school is breaking the law. The Catholic High School is located within the City of Columbus, which has an ordinance on the books making it illegal to deny someone employment based on, among many factors, sexual orientation.

The question for the courts will be if Bishop Watterson, being a religious institution, is exempt from the law.

Clutchettes, do you think the teacher should have been terminated?

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  • the sanctimony is killing me inside.

  • LemonNLime

    Nothing about this is new. I went to a Catholic school in Ohio and 3 of our teachers were fired for being gay. One of the many reasons I am anti-Catholic to this day.

    • Jeanfor

      No, they were not fired for being gay, but for having a gay relationship. It would have been the same it the teacher were having an affair! Stop telling a lie.

  • Jeanfor

    Romans 1:18-27

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    Let me start by making two observations. First, this is about God being mad: “For the wrath of God [orge] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men….”

    Second, there is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger. Men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). They exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25). Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” (v. 24). They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26). Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

    This text is a crystal clear condemnation of homosexuality by the Apostle Paul in the middle of his most brilliant discourse on general revelation. Paul is not speaking to a localized aberration of pedophilia or temple prostitution that’s part of life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture. He is talking about a universal condition of man.

    Regarding the same-sex behavior itself, here are the specific words Paul uses: a lust of the heart, an impurity and dishonoring to the body (v. 24); a degrading passion that’s unnatural (v. 29); an indecent act and an error (v. 27); not proper and the product of a depraved mind (v. 28).

    There’s only one way the clear sense of this passage can be missed: if someone is in total revolt against God. According to Paul, homosexual behavior is evidence of active, persistent rebellion against one’s Creator. Verse 32 shows it’s rooted in direct, willful, aggressive sedition against God–true of all so-called Christians who are defending their own homosexuality. God’s response is explicit: “They are without excuse” (v. 20).