Outside the Catholic way

A Catholic school near Detroit has fired a teacher for doing something it considers ooky a sin.

A Detroit-area teacher says she was fired from her post at a private Catholic all-girls high school after she and her lesbian partner announced they were expecting a child through non-traditional means.

So it turns out the Catholic church isn’t so “pro-life” after all, at least according to this school. It disapproves of the future existence of this expected child, disapproves enough to fire the mother from her job at its school. Homophobia trumps “pro-life” it seems.

Hundreds of supporters for Barb Webb, a teacher at Marian High School in suburban Bloomfield Hills, rallied on Sunday at the school after she posted on Facebook that she had been forced from her job after she become pregnant “outside the Catholic way.”

Webb said she was asked late last month to choose between resigning or being fired, but decided against leaving voluntarily although she said the school had offered healthcare for the remainder of the school year had she chosen to resign. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time.

Well let’s see the protests roll out. It will do the school good.

School officials could not immediately be reached on Sunday for comment about the firing, which comes as legal decisions favoring gay marriage continue to mount in the United States.

Nearly 30 state and federal courts have ruled against same-sex marriage bans since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

A U.S. court of appeals is due to rule on same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee this month.

A Facebook group in support of the teacher, “I Stand With Barb Webb,” grew to more than 3,200 members shortly after its inception last week when Webb’s post went viral. Current and former students and parents have urged the school to reverse its decision.

Go on, Marian High School. Do the right thing. Don’t be evil.


  1. johnthedrunkard says

    In this case ‘don’t be evil’ means ‘don’t be Catholic.’

    And how long did she give her professional support to this gang of criminals?

  2. Ohtobide says

    This was a private school. Why should they not make their own rules about whom they hire? Did this teacher not know about the rules when she joined?

  3. jonmoles says

    The Catholic Church hates so many things, I can’t tell if they had a problem with the lesbianism or with IVF (if that is the method that they used).

  4. says

    There are limitations on employers’ right to make their own rules about whom they hire. They can’t, for instance, say “whites only.” There are laws that govern this.

  5. jonmoles says


    I don’t think Ophelia would argue that they aren’t within their rights to fire her but that they still suck for doing so.

  6. says

    I don’t actually know whether they’re within their legal rights or not. They may be, especially since they’re a religious school (hello Hobby Lobby ruling).

    I’m just saying it isn’t totally anything goes for employers.

  7. sailor1031 says

    Why does anyone, anyone at all, continue to support RCC Inc. the largest international criminal conspiracy ever known to humankind? It’s not as if their despicable behaviour, dogma and rules are secret.

  8. moarscienceplz says

    Oh, goody. Ohtobide treats us to the Libertarian golden rule:

    Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

    Hey Ohtobide! What if she didn’t know she wanted children when she accepted the job? How is it fair she should have to choose between her job and a child when most people don’t have to?
    You Libertarian P.O.S.!

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    … late last month … the school had offered healthcare for the remainder of the school year … She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time.

    So the magnanimous magisters of the Mother Church would cover a few prenatal exams, but the birth itself would go on Ms Webb’s tab. Downright Solomonic!

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Forgive me, father, for I have sinned. What is the penance for omitting an italics close tag?

  11. samgardner says

    They’re pretty well within their legal rights to fire her, unless courts start deciding very differently on such things (which would be great, but not very realistic). Probably that remains the case even if there is marriage equality in the state.

    Minority races are a protected class, which may impact on it a bit.

    “Don’t be evil” <– what, why stop when they're so good at it!?

  12. Ohtobide says

    Ophelia Benson

    I have been thinking for some time about posting this. After all, it is your blog and you make the rules. Maybe I should just never post here again and let it be. But do you really find it acceptable that someone (moarscienceplz) calls another poster a piece of shit and spits at them?

  13. Ohtobide says


    Well yes moarscienceplz did ‘really’ spit at me. And call me a piece of shit. Have you ever been spat at in RL? The intention is not to make contact, just to humiliate. So what is the difference? But it seems that Ophelia Benson agrees with you and regards it as acceptable. So goodbye.

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