INDIANAPOLIS, July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A teacher at an Indiana Catholic school fired for entering into a same-sex “marriage” filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for discrimination.
Joshua Payne-Elliott taught for 13 years at Cathedral High School and renewed his contract on May 21, the Associated Press reported. But the school’s president informed him on June 23 that the archdiocese was ordering that he be fired because of his 2017 “marriage” to a male teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.
As LifeSiteNews previously covered, the archdiocese also ordered Brebeuf to fire the other teacher, and when it refused to do so, Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson decreed that it “can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.” The Midwest Province of Jesuits is appealing the decision.
Cathedral complied with the archdiocese, however, so Payne-Elliott is seeking damages for compensation and emotional distress, as well as a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “We hope that this case will put a stop to the targeting of LGBTQ employees and their families,” Payne-Elliott declared.
The Indianapolis Star added that Payne-Elliott has arrived at a satisfactory and confidential legal settlement with Cathedral High School, but not with the archdiocese.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, homosexual relations are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law,” and cannot be approved under any circumstances. Individuals afflicted with same-sex attraction must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” while at the same time are “called to chastity.”
“In our Catholic schools, all teachers, school leaders and guidance counselors are ministers and witnesses of the faith whose ultimate responsibility is to educate and form students,” the Archdiocese of Indianapolis responded on its website. “Those who act as ministers of the Catholic Church must uphold the teachings of the Church in their daily lives, both in and out of school. We expect all who sign a ministerial contract do so in good faith.
“Religious liberty, which is a hallmark of the U.S. Constitution and has been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court, (and a value of the Catholic Church as described in the Second Vatican Council document Dignitatis humanae), acknowledges that religious organizations may define what conduct is not acceptable and contrary to the teachings of its religion, for its school leaders, guidance counselors, teachers and other ministers of the faith,” it added.