Saturday, April 27, 2013

Columbus Ohio teacher fired for being gay

Columbus Ohio teacher fired for being gay, The battle to have teacher Carla Hale reinstated is heating up. On Friday, April 26, more than two-dozen students protested outside the Columbus (Ohio) Catholic Diocese. The Bishop Watterson High School students had a scheduled day off from school, according to 10-TV, so were not cutting classes to participate in the protest.

Last week, Carla Hale told NBC4 that she was terminated from her position at Bishop Watterson High School because she is gay. Hale, a physical education teacher, has taught at Bishop Watterson for 19 years.

The fact that Hale is gay came to light after a student asked her mother to pray for Ms. Hale, after Hale’s mother died. Once the mother of the student read the obituary, she reported to the Diocese that Carla Hale had a female partner listed in the obituary. Hale was subsequently terminated for violation of Diocesan Policy 45116.1, regarding the “moral” behavior of Catholic School personnel. Hale was advised that she violated the moral laws by “publicizing” her relationship with another female.

Ms. Hale hinted that teachers are not fired for living with another person outside of marriage, nor other behaviors such as taking birth control. She also said she was “shocked” at the decision to terminate her.

It is illegal to discriminate against an individual in the workplace based on sexual orientation in Columbus and in Franklin County, but some individuals have claimed that Catholic schools would be exempt from complying with any such ordinances. However, Carla Hale’s attorney, Tom Tootle, says there are no exemptions for religious institutions.

A meeting was held on April 23, after Hale filed a grievance, but her termination was not rescinded. Hale has said that the meeting lasted for less than five minutes. LGBTQNation quoted Hale as saying, “I have committed my 19-year professional career to one thing: ensuring that our next generation achieves its full potential. I love my job. I don’t want money. I don’t want fame. I simply want to return to Bishop Watterson.”

Almost immediately after her firing, social media networks were buzzing, planning protests and petitions over the dismissal of Carla Hale. One of the petitions, at, had more than 63,000 signatures as of Friday. The petition is still open. There is now on-line support for her across the nation as well as internationally. There have been offers for help for her legal expenses to help her try to get her job back legally.

Bishop Watterson High School is located at 99 E. Cooke Rd. in Columbus, Ohio, and claims to be “A comprehensive, co-educational, Catholic school for grades 9-12." It also claims to be "rooted in faith."

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