Catholic school faces backlash for not hiring a lesbian


Lauren Brown applied for and got a job as counselor at the Catholic all-girls St. Mary’s Academy. But the school later learned that she is a lesbian. And so like good Catholics, they withdrew the offer. And in the time-honored Catholic way, they tried to buy her silence by offering her a year’s salary and benefits if she would keep quiet about why she was not being hired.

But Brown did not play along and when the news became public there was a backlash.

Some students at the school launched an online protest in support of Brown after the details of the withdrawal emerged this week.

A major donor to the school, Tim Boyle, chief executive officer of Columbia Sportswear Co., had also condemned the decision and told a local newspaper there was no place in the workplace for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“The news this week is an example of how to not prepare students,” Boyle told the Oregonian in an interview published before the school updated its employment policy.

While students can be ignored, major donors cannot so the school board met and unanimously decided to include sexual orientation as part of their non-discrimination policy. The new policy reads:

St. Mary’s Academy does not discriminate against any person because of age, gender, color, race, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other class protected by law. St. Mary’s Academy will make efforts to ensure that employees and applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of the characteristics mentioned above in terms or conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, classification, compensation, promotion, training, termination or any other employment decisions.

The backlash and adoption of the new policy are good things showing that as usual, the community is ahead of the church. But this is not entirely a happy ending because Brown was not offered the job again. The school said it had offered it to someone else before the new policy was adopted. So while this new policy is a step forward, in practical terms what the school will likely do is be more careful in its screening of candidates to ensure that no member of the LGBT community slips through. Because that is what Jesus would do.

Comments

  1. says

    St. Mary’s Academy does not discriminate against any person because of age, gender, color, race, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other class protected by law.

    Yeah, right. Let’s see a transgendered person get the job.

    I bet they would fire someone seen outside Planned Parenthood. Abortion is still legal in the US, but that won’t stop the catholics from firing anyone who protected other women’s right to have one. They would likely say, “You weren’t the one having the abortion, so your rights aren’t at issue.”

  2. Lesbian Catnip says

    @left0ver1under

    Yeah, right. Let’s see a transgendered person get the job.

    You wouldn’t call a person of colour “blackened.” So that’s transgender person, please.

    @Mano

    But this is not entirely a happy ending because Brown was not offered the job again.

    Of course not. Being a shit disturber is the right thing to do, and as we all know, homophobes aren’t particularly concerned about the right thing.

  3. says

    #2 –

    They are both adjectives with the same meaning.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transgender

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transgendered

    Are words always assumed or misconstrued to be written and spoken with the worst possible intent when not spelt or used in a specific way or they are possibly ambiguous? The spelling was a result of an earlier edit from one phrasing to another, unnoticed before posting.

    And since you don’ t know, I am transgendered and intend to have SRS in the future. Dr. Wang’s clinic in Taiwan is one of the best in the world for MTF transition surgery. I’m currently going through the process of psychiatric evaluation.

  4. doublereed says

    Are words always assumed or misconstrued to be written and spoken with the worst possible intent when not spelt or used in a specific way or they are possibly ambiguous?

    I think we all know the answer to that question haha

  5. oolon says

    #3 I don’t think any bad intent was assumed? Catnip was just pointing out the usual style is transgender as “ed” implies it was done to you 😉
    glaad.org/reference/transgender

    Good luck in Taiwan!

  6. Lesbian Catnip says

    Well, intentions aren’t magic. But as pointed out, using –ed implies action was taken, as opposed to using trans as a descriptor or qualifier.

    I suppose the universe and a myriad of impossibly complex possibilities have “transgendered” you, though.

    Oh, and Montreal is doing very well in the SRS department too.

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