The firing of Carla Hale has caused much consternation for the Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio, but it may all be for naught given that the Supreme Court has upheld the right for religious groups and organizations to discriminate against people they find undesirable, especially when the firing is based off of a clause worded in such a way as to not actually violate any laws governing discrimination.
Hale has said to the press that “I’ve committed my 19-year professional career to one thing, ensuring that our next generation achieves its full potential. I love my job, I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I simply want to return to Bishop Watterson.”
Unfortunately, the diocese has pointed out that “Personnel who choose to publicly espouse relationships or principles that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church cannot, ultimately, remain in the employ of the Church.”
Because of that clause, the Roman Catholic Church has fired many qualified straight teachers who were cohabitating with someone without being married.
Hale was fired after an obituary for her mother written by her brother mentioned her long time lesbian partner. She was fired after the obituary was brought to the attention of the school’s administration. Hale filed a grievance to seek reinstatement, but was denied. She wants to file other appeals with the Ohio board of Catholic educators. It seems unlikely that she will succeed.
This is not really an issue of discrimination. Like it or not, Bishop Watterson High School’s administration has every right to fire Hale. It is unlikely that she will get her job back. The issue is far more about hypocricy.
Bishop of Columbus Frederick Francis Campbell has had a career that took him throughout various places where priests covered up and hid the rapes of children by priests. He has been a priest since 1980, which means that some of those occurred on his watch.
The Roman Catholic Church has failed to live up to the moral code that they demand others follow. Their hypocrisy should be what is at issue here since, legally, they can discriminate based upon the imposition of their moral code.
Perhaps it is time to stop acting like the discrimination is the bad thing and demand that, if the Catholic Church is going to force others to live up to their moral code, then they should do so themselves. After all, what was it that Christ said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”