The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese
of Columbus has defended the firing of a gay teacher.
Carla Hale was terminated in March from
her teaching position at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus,
Ohio after her employer, the Diocese, 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.
Hale said that the Diocese fired her
for violating moral law.
On Tuesday, Hale file a complaint with
the city claiming that the school violated Columbus'
anti-discrimination ordinance, which includes sexual orientation and
has no exemption for religious organizations.
In an interview with the Columbus
Dispatch, Bishop Frederick Campbell said that Hale was not
fired because of her sexual orientation but because her
“quasi-spousal relationship” with another woman goes against the
church's moral teachings.
“We do this in an atmosphere of care,
of calm consideration, but yet out of the realization that at
particular times we have to make particular decisions,” Campbell
said. “And they are difficult sometimes, but they do flow from
what we believe, who we are and how we are to live.”
Campbell added that he was “very
concerned” about threats the church has received over the incident,
but added that “we have to remain steadfast in the teaching of the