LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— LGBT rights advocates have urged a Catholic all-girls high school to reinstate an English teacher who lost her job after she married her same-sex partner.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Tippi McCullough said Diane Wolfe, principal of the all-girls Mount St. Mary Academy called her 45 minutes after she married Barbara Mariani in New Mexico on Oct. 16 and told her the school would fire her if she did not resign. McCullough told the newspaper that Wolfe said her wedding violated her contract’s morality clause.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin spoke at a Little Rock press conference with McCullough and Mariani on Oct. 22.
“As an educational institution and one of deep faith, Mount St. Mary should be setting an example of tolerance and acceptance — ideals put forward recently by Pope Francis as he urges the Catholic Church hierarchy to put aside judgment of LGBT people,” Griffin said.
Mount St. Mary Academy President Karen Flake defended the school’s personnel policies in a statement to the Associated Press.
“Sometimes adherence to the church’s teachings may be difficult, challenging and/or unpopular,” she said. “We recognize that some may disagree with our actions, and we respect their right to do so.”