Carla Hale was terminated last month
from her teaching position at Bishop Watterson High School in
Columbus, Ohio after her employer, the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Columbus, learned she was gay.
Hale, a 19 year health and physical
education teacher at Watterson, was anonymously outed in a letter to
the Diocese in February. The letter included Hale's mother's
obituary, which listed her partner.
The 57-year-old told NPR
affiliate WOSU that she was fired in a letter from the Columbus
Diocese signed and delivered by Principal Marian Hutson.
“I turned to the principal and I
said, 'Are we talking like immediately? Am I supposed to leave the
building?' And she just, she said, 'Yes,'” Hale said.
Hale said that the Diocese fired her
for violating moral law.
Hale explained to CBS affiliate
that she at first hesitated to name her partner in the obituary.
“If it were not for an obituary that
appeared in the paper, none of this would be happening,” she said.
“She asked me if I really wanted to put her name in there – in
the obituary. But … my mom really loved Julie and Julie loved my
mom. And as I sat there with my brother, you know, it was like his
wife was mentioned, my niece's husband was mentioned, so why not?
Why not the person I love?”
As of Thursday, more than 12,000 people
had signed a change.org
petition asking the school to reinstate Hale.