A female teacher at a Catholic high school in Columbus, fired after the name of her same-sex partner appeared in her mother’s published obituary, is fighting to get her job back.
Carla Hale, 57, a physical education teacher at Bishop Watterson High School for 19 years, was told by the school principal that she was fired not for being gay but for being in a gay relationship.
"Your written spousal relationship violates the moral laws of the Catholic Church," Marian Hutson, principal of Bishop Watterson, wrote to Hale in a March 28 letter.
The obituary, printed in the Columbus Dispatch, listed survivors, including “daughter, Carla (Julie) Hale.”
The Catholic Diocese of Columbus was alerted to the obituary by an anonymous letter. The writer claimed to be “a concerned parent” of a Watterson student who had been in Hale’s class.
A copy of the letter, given to The Plain Dealer by Hale’s lawyer, reads, “I was shocked by what I saw. It had her teacher’s name and that of her ‘spouse’ listed. It was two females!”
Hale was told by the school that she violated a contract between the diocese and a union representing Catholic teachers, specifically a section that reads teachers can be fired for “immorality.””
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Catholic School Fires Teacher After the Name of Her Same-Sex Partner Appears In Her Mother’s Obituary."