Sigh . . . You may remember the case of Carla Hale in Ohio, who was fired in March by a Catholic school because she is in a same-sex relationship. It was a heartbreaking story: Carla had just lost her mom, and had mentioned her partner’s name in her mother’s obituary. One — I stress, one — holier-than-thou individual complained to the school authories in an anonymous letter about Carla’s partnership orientation, and she was fired — after 19 years on the job. Carla was a much-loved teacher, and her firing has drawn national and some international attention (I wrote about it in my Gazette blog). There’s even an online petition on change.org calling for her reinstatement.
So now — and I am trying to be objective here, but it ain’t easy — it turns out Carla’s union will not support her in a grievance against the school, according to a report on an NBC News site. Says the report:
“The COACE [Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators] informs you of the decision of its Grievance Committee not to carry forward the grievance Ms. Carla Hale has filed to challenge the termination of her employment as a Diocesan teacher,” read the letter from the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, according to WCMH.com in Ohio.
The union is not saying why in this report it made the decision. Perhaps it honestly thinks it can’t win the case. But . . .
The NBC report says Ms. Hale “has also filed a complaint with the city of Columbus, which prohibits firing employees based on sexual orientation.” And I think she will ultimately win the case, because the school authorities were pretty straightforward about why they fired her. Says the NBC report: “Her termination letter from Bishop Watterson Principal Marian Hutson declared, ‘Your written spousal relationship violates the moral laws of the Catholic Church.’ ”
Meanwhile, I’m thinking members of the teachers’ union there should be taking a good, hard look at their leadership and asking: why?
The “Bigots” word springs to mind…