Both these stories have, I think, the same moral: You have a right to be a bigot, but not on the taxpayer’s dime.
Margie Winters, the director of religious education at Philadelphia’s Waldron Mercy Academy, was fired because a couple of students’ parents complained about Winters being gay and married. The school had known all along, but fired Winters anyway.
The firing could put the school in legal jeopardy. Lower Merion Township protects against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and its exemption for religious institutions does not include those that are “supported in whole or in part by government appropriations.” Over the past two years, Waldron Mercy has received more than $270,000 from Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit, and students also receive financial aid through the state’s Education Improvement Tax Credit. If found in violation of the ordinance, the academy could be held liable for backpay, required to rehire Winters, and a penalty as high as $10,000, plus attorneys’ fees.
I hope the school get creamed, frankly. LGBT folks are taxpayers, too; Religious organizations shouldn’t take taxpayer money while expecting to be exempt from the law.
Interestingly, the archdiocese has denied having anything to do with this.
(By the way, there are many, many other examples of Christian organizations firing employees for being queer, or even just for favoring queer rights.)
As regular “Alas” readers know, I usually hesitate to call for people to be fired. But Casey Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, should absolutely be fired. Lifesitenews reports:
Governor Beshear ordered Davis to issue homosexual licenses, or else he must quit. “‘Issue marriage licenses or resign’ — those were the words,” Davis told reporters after meeting with Beshear. “I can’t quit…I have a mortgage to pay.”
Davis’ sense of entitlement is astounding.
Davis has every right to his stupid and bigoted beliefs. He has every right to state those beliefs on his own time. He has every right to quit his job rather than perform job duties he finds abhorant.
What he doesn’t have is the right to keep a job he’s refusing to do.