A Catholic high school in Columbus, Ohio has fired Carla Hale, a teacher of 19 years, after she was outed as a lesbian in her mother’s obituary.
The obituary mentioned her “partner” Julie and a parent of a student at Bishop Watterson High School told the school.
Hale was fired through a termination letter. According to Digital Journal she was shocked because “she said that her sexual orientation and her life with her female partner were never brought up at school and did not affect her work there.”
Hale plans on fighting for her job back and the Dispatch story claims that Hale may have been illegally fired. According to Columbus law, discriminating against an employee based on sexual orientation is illegal. Plus, Hale said many other teachers are living common-in-law, divorced or are using birth control – all actions that are not in compliance with the Catholic Church.
Hale isn’t the only one upset by her termination. The students at Bishop Watterson started an online petition on change.org that has over 56,000 signatures.
“She was a teacher who cared for her students and treated each one with respect,” student Jackson Garrity wrote on the petition. “The diocese, however, did not reciprocate that respect in its treatment of her. It’s unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control.”