Cincinnati Catholic school introduces anti-LGBT clause in teacher contracts

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The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has broadened their contractual requirements for the Catholic school’s teachers and administrators to remove any “public support of a homosexual lifestyle” as well as public support of sexual activity outside of wedlock, abortion, IVF and couples living together outside of marriage.

They wish for the members of staff to avoid “such conduct or lifestyle that is in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals.”

According to the Archdiocese, the new contract is merely meant to clarify Roman Catholic teachings to those teachers who aren’t fully familiar with them. The Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Dan Andriacco, claims the contract does not go beyond any previous contract in setting conduct requirements.

“We’ve had a moral conduct clause for years, as many secular employers have,” Andriacco said, according to Buzzfeed. “What’s different for 2014–2015 is that we have added some examples for the guidance of teachers who may not be familiar with the Catholic faith. We think this is fairer to our teachers so they are clear as to what’s meant.”

The changes were introduced late last month, and LGBT rights activists have already expressed their disapproval of the new contractual requirements.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) spokesperson Paul Guequierre said, “Doubling down on discrimination is never a good thing, and that’s exactly what the Archdiocese has done. The fact that they will discriminate in this fashion is bad enough. The fact that they felt the need to spell it out is worse and clearly meant to intimidate, not inform, as they say.”

“This isn’t in keeping with the olive branch Pope Francis has extended to LGBT people around the world, but even more importantly, it’s not in keeping with the living message of God’s love of all people,” said the director of the HRC Religion and Faith Program, Dr. Sharon Groves.

The new contract has come following a recent surge of firing LGBT teachers and administrators at Catholic schools over the last few years.

Despite Catholic schools attempting to exclude members of the LGBT community from their staff, according to the Human Rights Campaign recent polling found 85 percent of Christians believed their faith compelled them to support protections for the LGBT community and 59 percent of lay Catholics supported marriage equality.

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