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School Fires Teacher for Not Opposing Gay Marriage

School Fires Teacher for Not Opposing Gay Marriage
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Trish Cameron is not the first Catholic teacher to be fired because she was honest about holding beliefs different from her employer. Care2 blogger Steve Williams wrote about a German kindergarten teacher who was fired for being a lesbian. She would have been fired immediately, but state officials ruled she could not be let go before the end of her maternity leave.

Ann Bibby wrote about another dismissal in Vancouver, B.C., where same-sex marriage is legal. A teacher in a publicly funded Catholic girls’ school was allowed to complete her contract but not admitted back in the classroom. Parents had found out she was a lesbian.

Now another teacher has learned that being honest can mean losing her job. This time it is not even a matter of someone living a “lifestyle” counter to church teachings. After eleven uncontroversial years as a teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Moorhead, Minnesota, Trish Cameron is being forced to resign because of an opinion.

Cameron Fired for Personal Opinion

According to the “Crookston Daily Times,” Cameron admitted on a self-evaluation form that she disagreed with some of the church’s teachings. She may as well have turned in her resignation along with the self-evaluation.

When she was called into a meeting with school officials, Cameron admitted she did not agree with the church’s stance on gay marriage. Although she made it clear she never expressed that sentiment in class, she was told even holding it as a private opinion was cause for dismissal.

After she was informed her contract would not be renewed, she wrote a letter to the school’s family and staff. In it she wrote:

We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does).

Next page: The School’s Version

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99 comments

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8:29AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Somehow I think this school has drifted away from following the principles of "what would Jesus do"!

6:24AM PST on Jan 16, 2013

"Don't like gay marriages? Don't get one. Don't like cigarettes? Don't smoke them. Don't like abortions? Don't get one. Don't like sex? Don't have it. Don't like drugs? Don't do them. Don't like porn? Don't watch it. Don't like alcohol? Don't drink it.. Don't like guns? Don't buy one. Don't like your rights taken away? Don't take away someone else's."

9:21AM PST on Jan 15, 2013

I wasn't taught personal responsibility and morals in the Catholic school I attended - I got that from my parents. And, perhaps, a well-developed conscience.
In the school and church I attended, I was taught that nearly everything I thought and did was a sin, some venial, some mortal. I was taught that a priest was as near to God as you'll get on earth and his teachings - no matter how bigoted, far-fetched and ridiculous - was the word of God. I was taught that women were second-class citizens, as well as an 'occasion of sin'.
Fortunately, I didn't learn any of it.
It's no bloody wonder that there's nothing more lapsed than a lapsed Catholic.

11:58PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

I agree with Robert P.--if she did not teach anything different than the stance of the organization she had given her word to represent, then her private opinions are just that--private. My question is---why are they allowed this modern witch-hunt?? The questions should not be what do you believe? but what will you teach?---that is more pertinent to any job issues...

5:21AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

If I were her, even if they offered to rehire me, I would decline.

5:20AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

The school doesn't deserve to have decent teachers like Cameron at their school.

1:45PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

THIS IS OUTRAGIOUS ! But this is the Church who brought you the Witchburnings in the middle ages..among many other unpleasent things ..including sexism & homophobia and the harassment of scientists. Destroy their tax excempt status and TAX THEM!!!!!

10:51AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Doggone Robert P. I just gotta green star you for that last comment!

10:37AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Norma-So she must reject her son to keep her job? They are telling her how she must feel and act regarding her son's sexuality. That is wrong.

7:58AM PDT on Jun 29, 2012

Norma says: "This is a Catholic school in which she 'violated' part of her contract. She has a right to her opinion, but not if it is different than public views expressed by the church. Even the nuns have been a target for the Vatican."

I would like to see the contract. I agree that a teacher should NOT teach anything that her employer does not want taught. That goes without saying. But she can be sanctioned and fired simply for her own silent beliefs? That doesn't make any sense at all. If that were the case, then they should fire all these priests who don't believe in God and molest children, rather than just shuffling them around and sending them to new parishes.

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