Friday, February 21, 2020

Student protest for dismissal of two teachers for being gay in Washington

Students at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, staged both a sit-in and a walkout after two beloved teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, were forced to resign for being gay.

People gathered at both protests said in interviews that they demand both the reinstatement of the teachers and a change in the church’s stance on same-sex relationships. Many, including Catholic-school graduate Grace Armstrong, pointed to what she called a contradiction between Jesus’s message of acceptance and love and the church’s policies. 

They spilled out onto the lawn and spoke into a microphone in front of a banner that read, “Who would Jesus fire? #LoveisLove.” 

A GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $35,000 to help Paul and Michelle cover expenses until they can find other jobs.

Supporters of the teachers also protested outside the local Seattle Archdiocese offices, watch it below:

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure what can be done in terms of discrimination law in the State of Washington to protect the teachers. Washington is a very progressive state, and very aligned with the Democratic Party. LGBT people are fully protected from discrimination; Washington enacted LGBT protections in 2006. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2012, and same-sex couples are allowed to adopt. Conversion therapy on minors has also been illegal since 2018. However, religious organizations, and one must assume their schools, are not required to comply with these laws - as long as they receive no public funds. Just as a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple is not required to hire LGBTQ clergy, they are not required to hire LGBTQ teachers. I just checked the Seattle Archdiocese website, and the new Archbishop - Msr. Paul D. Etienne -is very anti LGBT. He says "the health of our U.S. seminaries has improved, especially with a clear understanding that there is no room in seminary life for a subculture of homosexual groups or activity". This may be why the teacher was quickly dismissed.