Fired Gay Teacher Disputes Bishop’s Claims She Violated Contract

Carla Hale, fired last month from Watterson High School, disputed Central Ohio Bishop Frederick Campbell's claims she violated her employment contract.(Photo: WOSU)
Carla Hale, fired last month from Watterson High School, disputed Central Ohio Bishop Frederick Campbell's claims she violated her employment contract.(Photo: WOSU)

The gay teacher fired last month from a Columbus Catholic high school appeared on AllSides with Ann Fisher Wednesday along with two lawyers to discuss her case.

Former physical education teacher Carla Hale disagrees with Central Ohio Bishop Frederick Campbell’s recent comments in a Columbus Dispatch article that she was fired for her “quasi-spousal relationship” with her same-sex partner, rather than for being gay.

Speaking on AllSides with Ann Fisher, Hale underscored she did not violate her contract, as Campbell also claimed.

“The agreement that I signed did not specifically say that I would comply with and act consistently with the philosophy and all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church,” Hale said, who is Methodist.

Columbus lawyer and Catholics for Ohio board member Don Brey said the Church does not discriminate against homosexuals.

“But nonetheless are called to live lives of chastity,” Brey said. “And that of course is what she openly said she was not doing, and judging from her recent press conferences she has no intention of doing that.”

Hale may file a civil lawsuit if she doesn’t get her job back.

And Moritz College of Law professor Marc Spindelman said it will be important to her case to show the diocese was selective in enforcing its employment rules.

“[To] point out that there was something that was inconsistent about the applicability of the rules that marks this decision in Ms. Hale’s case as distinctive or special in ways that the law ought to recognize,” Spindelman said.

For now, Hale waits to hear back from union representatives whether they support her grievance. And it could be two weeks before the city’s community relations department replies to her complaint against Watterson’s principal Marian Hutson.

Hale was fired in March after the Diocese received an anonymous about Hale’s same-sex partner being listed in Hale’s mother’s obituary.

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