Students, parents and staff at an Omaha
Catholic high school are rallying behind a gay teacher who was told
to call off his marriage engagement or be fired.
petition posted Tuesday calling on officials at Skutt Catholic to
reconsider their response to Matthew Eledge's engagement received
nearly 35,000 signatures in one day.
Upon learning about the engagement,
officials told Eledge, an English teacher and speech coach, that his
contract would not be renewed next year and that he would be fired if
he told students, according to Kacie Hughes, Eledge's assistant
speech coach and the petition's author.
She added that when Eledge asked
whether he could continue teaching if he postponed the wedding,
school officials responded that he would have to end the
In her petition, Hughes pointed to the
school's double standard: “[I]f they fire Mr. Eledge for engaging
in a same-sex relationship, they must avoid discrimination. They
will need to fire any single teacher who is living with their partner
or engaging in sexual activity, any divorced person who has remarried
without an annulment, or any married couple using contraceptives.”