By Newsweek |
Catholic School Guidance Counselor to Lose Job After 40 Years for Being Married to Woman, Lawyer Says
A guidance counselor who has worked at an Indiana Catholic High school for almost 40 years will lose her job by the end of the school year because she is married to a woman, her lawyer says.
Lynn Starkey, a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, was told by school officials that her contract will not be renewed for the 2019-2020 school year due to her same-sex marriage, the Indy Star reported.
Starkey’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, said in a press release on Monday that Starkey filed an amended discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the high school and the archdiocese. In the statement, DeLaney states that Starkey, who has been at the school for almost 40 years and has shown “exemplary employment,” and also won a Teacher of the Year recognition in 2009.
On March 6, DeLaney states that Roncalli High School officials and the Archdiocese told Starkey that she had allegedly “breached her written employment agreement due to her same-sex civil union.”
Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. A school guidance counselor claims she will lose her job at the end of the school year because she is married to a woman. Screenshot/Google Maps
“Ms. Starkey’s long and successful career at Roncalli High School is scheduled to end at the conclusion of the spring 2019 semester,” the statement read.
DeLaney also notes that Starkey’s co-director of guidance, Shelly Fitzgerald, was also targeted due to her same-sex marriage. Fitzgerald was placed on administrative leave on August 12 because she is also gay, the lawyer said. Roncalli High School principal Chuck Weisenbach also asked Starkey if she was also in a civil union, which she confirmed to him that she was, two days later.
Newsweek reached out to the Archdiocese of Indiana for comment but did not hear back in time for publication. In a statement to the Indy Star, Archdiocese spokesperson Greg Otolski said in an emailed statement that Starkey “could not in good faith” teach at the school again because she breached her contract.
“Ms. Starkey is currently in breach of her contract with Roncalli High School because she is in a civil union that is considered contrary to a valid marriage as seen through the eyes of the Catholic Church,” the statement read. “The 2019-2020 contract language will contain the same language. Therefore, Ms. Starkey could not in good faith enter into the contract so long as she is unable to abide by the terms of the contract.”