Students at St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora, California
on Thursday protested the firing of Ken Bencomo, who lost his
teaching position at the Catholic school after he married his
Bencomo and Christopher Persky were one of the first gay couples
to marry in San Bernardino after Proposition 8 was repealed last
month. News of their nuptials was reported in local media.
Less than two weeks after the couple exchanged vows, Bencomo was
terminated from his teaching job at St. Lucy's, where he was head of
the English department and he coached the dance squad. The
45-year-old Bencomo had been a teacher at St. Lucy's for 17 years.
The demonstrators, mostly graduates of the all-girl school,
chanted “Bring back B! Bring back B!” and held up signs which
read “We support Mr. B!” and “Mr. B is my role model” outside
“He has been my mentor, my confidant for all the time I've been
at this school,” Alina Mota, a senior at the school, told NBC Los
Angeles. “I'm so sad that he was let go based on him getting
married to someone that he loves.”
School officials have said that Bencomo was terminated not because
he's gay but because he brought attention to his sexuality.
“You can't tell someone it's okay to be a certain way but they
just have to hide it,” Brittany Littleton said.
More than 50,000 people have signed a
Change.org petition asking the school to reinstate Bencomo.