Gay teacher fired after artificial insemination

A gay teacher who was fired by Cincinnati archdiocese after she became pregnant through artificial insemination has told a jury she did not know the procedure violated Catholic doctrine.

Christa Dias is suing the archdiocese over her dismissal, saying she was fired simply because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Dias said she and her same-sex partner had discussed the possibility that being pregnant and unmarried could cause a problem with her employers. But they thought she could explain that the pregnancy was through artificial insemination and not premarital sex.

The archdiocese’s human resources director, William Hancock, told the court he recommended Dias be fired after he was told she was pregnant out of wedlock and later that the pregnancy resulted from artificial insemination.

He said Dias was fired because she violated the contracts she signed “saying she would uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church”, Hancock said. “She made a choice against the five contracts she signed.”

He said his recommendation was “based on the conduct, not the pregnancy”, and testified he would recommend firing a man who had got an unmarried woman pregnant or who had participated in artificial insemination.

The archdiocese also said Dias was a ministerial employee and the US Supreme Court had said religious groups can dismiss those employees without government interference.

But Dias says she taught computer technology at two schools and had no ministerial duties.

Dias said she is a Christian but not Catholic and was told that didn’t matter when she was hired.  She said she thought the contract clause requiring compliance with Church philosophies meant she should try “to be a Christian woman and follow the Bible”.

At an earlier hearing, the judge noted that Dias “admitted she was in a long-term homosexual relationship during her employment, and that she kept such fact secret from defendants as she knew defendants would view her relationship as a violation of the morals clause”.


Washington Post

Courthouse News Service

Image: USA Today

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