A Detroit Catholic school just fired a lesbian music teacher for marrying a woman, despite openly embracing her years ago. Now, Terry Gonda says she believes “something bigger is happening.” Is there a deeper agenda behind the recent spate of LGBTQ firings at religious institutions? Take a look at what we found and decide for yourself.
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Teacher Fired for Marrying a Woman Feels There’s a Deeper Agenda Involved
After 30 years of helping run her parish, music teacher and out lesbian Terry Gonda was fired by the Detroit Catholic Diocese for marrying another woman- a fact that she never hid.
She and Kirsty Reeve met back in 1994 when Gonda was visiting England. Later in 2011, they got married.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Gonda received an email from the Detroit Archdiocese on June 12, which said.
The Archdiocese is choosing to activate its morality clause to terminate your employment.
For those who don’t know, the so-called “morality clause” gives religious institutions almost complete immunity from laws forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Gonda was, understandably, heartbroken. As she told Detroit Free Press, she’s stood by her church despite all the scandals it’s faced over the years. After all, the institution saved her life, according to her.
Conservative Catholics are “on a campaign” to reform liberal parishes, Gonda says.
St. John Fisher in Auburn Hills originally embraced Gonda for “the good in her heart,” rather than judged for her sexual orientation. So, she was clearly not expecting such a decision.
It’s a shot to the head from headquarters. The dehumanization of this is just not right … my heart just hurts because I have an outpouring of love for them. I love them. I believe that they believe they’re doing the right thing — they’re trying to protect the church.
According to Gonda, Conservative Catholics are on a campaign to reform liberal parishes. Then she added.
My soul is filled with grief. But in my soul, something is happening. There are signs. God is in this … God is preparing us for what’s in store. There must be a better way.
The Detroit Archdiocese refused to comment their decision saying.
As a long-standing practice, out of respect for the privacy of those involved, the Detroit archdiocese does not comment on personnel matters.
Gonda isn’t the first LGBTQ person fired by the Catholic Church
Considering a similar story was set in Indianapolis, Gonda may be onto something about Catholic Conservatives trying to wipe out liberal parishes.
One year ago, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis tried to remove the Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School ‘s Catholic school designation. Why? Because school officials refused to fire a gay teacher. The Diocese reasoning was that the teacher’s “marital status does not conform to church doctrine.”
Brebeuf Jesuit stood its ground. Sadly, the Indianapolis Roncalli High School didn’t. The religious school fired two of its counselors involved in same-sex relationships.
In an open letter, the school said.
Specifically, Brebeuf Jesuit has respectfully declined the Archdiocese’s insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse within a civilly-recognised same-sex marriage.
Right now, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects US citizens from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin through
Loopholes in the law make discrimination possible
Practically, there are many loopholes that make discrimination possible.
Marcia McCormick said that employers can discriminate based on religion, if it’s absolutely necessary for the job. Talking about discrimination in schools, she said.
They get singled out as getting this one provision that talks about schools being able to discriminate if the curriculum is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion.
Another big flaw is the definition of the word ‘sex’ in Title VII. If we were to interpret as both sexual orientation and gender identity, then the LGBTQ communities should be completely protected against any form of discrimination.
Happily, on June 15th, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of doing just that. The LGBT community remains protected under Title VII, despite the Trump Administration’s attempt to undo those protections.
Vandy Beth Glenn came out as a trans woman back in 2007. Shortly after, she lost her job. She now said.
No trans people and no lesbian or gay people can ever be fired or discriminated against for being gay or transgender – that’s the immutable law of the land now.
As the progressive communities are happy with the decision, the conservative Catholics call this decision ‘disappointing.”
Now, the next step in the fight is ensuring that religious institutions can’t skirt around LGBTQ anti-discrimination laws so more good teachers like Terry Gonda don’t lose their jobs.