Experienced teachers are leaving their jobs over objections to a morality clause in a new contract with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
The contract bars teachers from living with a partner or having sex outside of marriage, using in-vitro-fertilization, living a gay lifestyle, or publicly supporting any of those things if they are Catholic or not.
For first-grade teacher Molly Shumate, whose son is gay, the clause threatens to pit teachers against friends and family in order to keep their jobs reported the Huffington Post.
“For me to sign this (contract), I feel like I would be telling my son I’ve changed my mind, that I don’t support him as I did. And I won’t do that,” Shumate said.
She has been a Catholic her entire life and a 14 year teacher in the Archdiocese, but she draws the line at the morality clause, saying “In my heart, I know I need to go,” Shumate told CNN.“I need to find another avenue because I am going to support my son. If in five or ten years he finds a partner and he wants to be with that person, I’m going to be in the front row with the biggest bouquet.”
Robert Hague, who was a high school English teacher for 50 years said “It is an embarrassment and a scandal, and will drive even more Catholics away from an institution so out of touch with its times.” He’s leaving his job rather than sign because he’s opposed to “the language, the intent, and the tone of this contract,” he said.
There have been signs going up around Cincinnati that read “Would Pope Francis Sign the New Catholic Teacher Contract?”
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said there is nothing new in the revised contract saying “Nobody who signed this year’s contract should hesitate to sign the 2014-2015 agreement. All say the same thing – that the teacher will not publicly act or speak against the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
“Jesus always acted out of love, never out of fear, and we’re all being asked to act out of fear because the lawyers have taken over,” said Roger Rosen, a teacher at the same high school he was valedictorian. Rosen signed the contract but does not believe in the morality clause.
“I’m a coward,” he said. “I need the money. Isn’t that terrible?”
The new contract appears to be a reaction to recent lawsuits over firings.
Computer teacher Christa Dias, who was single, got pregnant by in-vitro-fertilization and was fired by the archdiocese. She was awarded $170,000 by a jury after suing for discrimination.
[Image via nydailynews.com]