Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts has forced out the school's athletic director, Christine M. Judd, after she married her female partner in August.
Judd, who is described on the school's website as 'one of the key members of the faculty and a positive role models for the students,' said was pressured to leave after marrying her female partner last month.
The local diocese has listed her departure as a resignation, but Judd said she is currently exploring her legal options. It's believed that matters came to a head when an unidentified person made a photograph of Judd's wedding available to the diocese. Judd also clarified that the Cathedral High School had nothing to do with her departure, it was strictly a diocesan decision she said.
Mark E. Dupont, a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, told the press that Judd did resign, but he declined to respond to Judd's parting comments, or on the issue of her marriage in August.
'Without being specific to this matter, it should be clear that all employees of our Catholic schools are made aware of our policies and regulations,' Dupont told the press. 'This includes language that clearly states that whenever by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, that employee may be subject to disciplinary action. To do otherwise would be in contradiction to the values we believe in and are teaching in these same schools. So while we certainly want to be compassionate and understanding, we must be true to who we are.'
We must be true to who we are. So any teacher in contravention of Catholic dogma at Cathedral must be sweating right about now - I mean all the divorcees, the married people who use birth control, the men who have had vasectomies, and anyone who's privately pro-choice on abortion.
Call me a cynic, but somehow I imagine they'll all be spared. The Church is highly selective over which sins it puts up with, after all. Call it cafeteria contrition - or just call it what it is, text book religious discrimination.
It's being gay that seems to really incite Catholic purges. The question is why? What's so inherently more sinful about being gay that any trace of it must be eradicated? Do Church authorities think that just the mere fact of being gay put's you in total contravention to every Catholic teaching? Judd, 35, never discussed her sexuality during her 12-year employment at Cathedral High School.
So could it be that her firing was predicated on one the most frequent charges we hear about marriage equality - if it's passed at the federal level eventually gay people will start suing to have their marriages performed in church?
The fact that this has never happened anywhere in the world, ever, hasn't deterred conservatives from making this argument. It could happen, they say. The Cleveland Spiders could win the World Series, too - hey, you never know.
But hypotheticals are unreal things, what's happening to Christine M. Judd is a terrific reality.
Critics who say that it's a private school run by the Catholic Church, and that she knew the rules and got what was coming to her, need to examine their own reasoning for cognitive dissonance - marriage equality wasn't legal in the state twelve years ago. And it may be worth mentioning that many gay people work these jobs because they're an economic necessity.
However you look at it, it's a sad story. In recent months children as young as five have been thrown out of Catholic schools in the United States for simply having gay parents. It's a new and disturbing tactic.
When Massachusetts' Saint Paul Roman Catholic Elementary kicked out an eight-year-old boy with two mommies, Boston's archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley stepped in to condemn the move. Let's hope he won't sit silently this time.