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 petition asking the school to reinstate Hale.