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Indianapolis Cathedral High School decided to “separate” from a gay teacher… which is their way of saying they’re going to follow Catholic dogma. In their letter they wrote the following:
“Cathedral has been a Catholic school for the past 100 years and our Catholic faith is at the core of who we are and what we teach at Cathedral. We are committed to educating our students in the tenets of the Catholic faith with an emphasis on the Holy Cross tradition… Therefore, in order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School, Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher.”
In the letter, the Catholic school said Archbishop Charles Thompson “made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity.” In the letter, the school also says that not complying with the guidance of the Archdiocese would have made the school lose its nonprofit status and affiliation with the Brothers of the Holy Cross.
Many Catholics across Indianapolis are expressing frustration with the Indianapolis Archdiocese and support for a Cathedral teacher who was fired because of his same-sex marriage. Terminating the Cathedral teacher was in violation of the school’s own non-discriminatory policy. Their own employee handbook even lists "sexual orientation" as a protected class in the Equal Employment Opportunity section. The hashtag #FireMeToo is also going viral on Facebook, as some local Catholics express unity in the midst of the controversy.
Franklin College professor and LGBTQ activist Casey Hayes, who graduated from Cathedral was also angered. “I felt it was a disgusting despicable thing that they’d [the Archdiocese] done and I felt my high school was better than that,” Hayes said. “Now it’s David vs. Goliath. I think we’re at a point where a battle’s about to start.”
Hayes went even further to show his frustration. He gave back his high school diploma at Cathedral on Monday morning. “I walked right into the school and I laid it there and I said ‘here’s my diploma,'” Hayes said.
Cathedral teacher Buffy Hoyt VanWienen wrote on Facebook that she had been divorced and remarried “without an annulment which is a breach to my morality clause.”
Finally, there’s a Change.org petition denouncing the school’s decision that has racked up nearly 8,000 signatures as of this writing.
“…we, the undersigned community, insist Cathedral live up to this mission and support a diverse environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all, but especially LGBTQ+ people, that enter the hill. To discriminate against a teacher or staff member based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status sends a clear message: that Cathedral does not foster a welcoming or accepting environment.”
Recently, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis decided it would rather cut its ties with the Catholic Church than fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage.