August 7, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay teacher fired after wedding
Ken Bencomo, Christopher Persky, Gay News, Washington Blade

Christopher Persky, 32, husband of gay teacher, Ken Bencomo, 45, who lost his job two weeks after their wedding ceremony. (Screen Capture)

GLENDORA, Calif.—A gay teacher at a Catholic high school outside Los Angeles said he lost his job after he married his partner.

A lawyer for Ken Bencomo told the Los Angeles Times on Aug. 1 that administrators at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora fired his client after a local newspaper published photos of their wedding. Bencomo and his partner, Christopher Persky, were among the first same-sex couples to marry in San Bernardino County after the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down California’s Proposition 8.

“Ken was one of the school’s star educators and the decision to terminate him because he lawfully married a man is just heartbreaking to him –- it’s crushing,” Bencomo’s attorney, Patrick McGarrigle, told the Los Angeles Times.

The school defended its decision in a statement to the newspaper.

“While the school does not discriminate against teachers or other school employees based on their private lifestyle choices, public displays of behavior that are directly contrary to church teachings are inconsistent with these values,” it reads. “These values are incorporated into the contractual obligations of each of our instructors and other employees.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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