GLENDORA, CA, August 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Southern California Catholic school fired one of its teachers because of his “marriage” to another man. Now, a former student is leading a petition effort to have him reinstated.
The community is questioning whether a Catholic school has a right to fire someone for violating the Church’s teaching on living a homosexual lifestyle and same-sex “marriage.”
Local media touted the “marriage” of Ken Bencomo, 45, to Christopher Persky, 32, as one of the first in San Bernardino County after the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down California’s Proposition 8.
Bencomo had taught at St. Lucy’s in Glendora, California, for 17 years and was head of the English department, a dance coach, and yearbook moderator.
According to Brittany Littleton, a former student petitioning for his reinstatement, Bencomo served in a de facto mentorship role to both students and teachers.
The school, according to former student Abigail O’Brian, had been aware of the 10-year relationship between Bencomo and Persky. She told Celebrity Examiner that Persky had even been introduced as Bencomo’s “partner” to school administrators on previous occasions.
The Catholic students were also aware of Bencomo’s same-sex relationship.
However, according to Bencomo’s attorney, the school cited the publicity Bencomo generated by his “marriage” during the meeting in which he was fired.
St. Lucy’s Priory High School said in a statement, “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.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes homosexuality as “objectively disordered.” The USCCB's guidelines for “Ministry to Persons With a Homosexual Inclination” says the inclination is “directed toward that which is evil” and calls homosexuals to “chaste living.”
“These values are incorporated into the contractual obligations of each of our instructors and other employees,” the school noted.
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