Why do gay and lesbian teachers work at Catholic schools? It’s a question that comes up every time they’re fired for the “sin” of getting married. In Calgary, however, just being gay is enough to warrant losing your job.
One such teacher has now anonymously sent a letter to the Calgary Catholic School District (also published in the Calgary Herald) urging administrators to reconsider their cruelty.
The writer says he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. He wants to work in this district in part because he can help bridge the divide between the faith and LGBTQ identities.
During the span of my career with this board, I have taught and worked with many students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. I hope that I can ease any tensions they feel about being Catholic and gay. It’s hard enough trying to be gay in Alberta, without the struggle of it compounded by being Catholic and understanding the relationship between my faith and who I am.
The impetus for this letter, however, is a rumored “covenant” that all staffers will have to sign that says anyone who’s “found to be gay” could be fired.
I want to challenge CCSD to publicly address this covenant, and if there is truth to what I have claimed, retract this document. If we wish to be taken seriously as Catholic educators, we must lead by example, and celebrate inclusivity, as Jesus did, and as he called for us to do.
Your actions regarding employees who identify as being part of the LGBTQ community directly contradict the very teachings and messages that come from what it means to truly be Catholic. If you wish to be relevant, it is time to change. You are missing out on a golden opportunity to reaffirm the importance of Catholic education.
I take issue with that statement that their behavior contradicts Catholic teachings. That’s like saying child sexual abuse is anti-Catholic. Perhaps it is, in spirit, but at this point, the Church is well-known for being against LGBTQ rights just as they’re against women’s rights, safe sex, and taking responsibility for their actions. They haven’t earned any respect. More to the point, they’ve singled out being gay as a special sin deserving of a firing. Women who quietly have abortions or men who have affairs get to keep their jobs because the Church never goes looking for evidence of those “sins.” But an openly gay teacher? To hell with them.
For a gay teacher to plead with the Catholic Church to have a heart is naïve at best. It’s like political pundits who hold out hope that Donald Trump will ever make a rational decision. When they refuse to do it time and time again, you’re the fool for continuing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I doubt the Calgary Catholic School District will respond to the letter, much less insist that gay teachers should be respected and treated equally.
I feel heartbroken for this teacher. But instead of writing this letter, his time would be better spent looking for a job where he isn’t constantly demonized by his superiors just for living his life.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)