(Photo: The Christian Post)
A national gay rights organization has taken issue with a Roman Catholic Archdiocese's recently implemented "morals clause" added to their private school teacher contracts.
"As support for LGBT equality continues to grow, particularly among Catholics, the Cincinnati Archdiocese is enacting draconian restrictions on Catholic school employees," Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign wrote in an entry on the group's website Tuesday that calls for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to reconsider its new rule. "HRC is calling on Diocese leaders to model Christian values and not discriminate against LGBT teachers or straight allies in their employment practices."
Guequierre argued that the new measure for Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese is discriminatory and will remove employment protections for teachers.
"The new contract also prohibits membership in an LGBT equality organization, such as the Human Rights Campaign," stated Guequierre. "Creating a safe space for LGBT young people, by placing a friendly sticker on your door for example, could be grounds for dismissal."
Earlier this month, local media reported that the Archdiocese had expanded the so-called "morals clause" in the contracts for teachers at its parochial schools. Originally only a line or two long, the new clause lays out in greater detail the dis-qualifiers for employment with the Archdiocese, reported WLWT.com.
"Such conduct or lifestyle that is in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals includes, but is not limited to, improper use of social media/communication, public support of or publicly living together outside marriage, public support of or sexual activity out of wedlock, public support of or homosexual lifestyle, public support of or use of abortion, public support of or use of a surrogate mother, public support of or use of in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination, public membership in organizations whose mission and message are incompatible with Catholic doctrine or morals, and/or flagrant deceit or dishonesty," reads the clause.
Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Archdiocese, told The Christian Post that the contract will take effect in the fall.
"Our experience has been that some teachers who violated the moral conduct clause in the past said they didn't understand that they were doing so," said Andriacco. "So we think that the examples will help the teachers. The new wording doesn't impose any new requirement or expectation on our teachers; it just makes the long-standing expectations more explicit."
When asked by CP about the allegation of being discriminatory, Andriacco said the new morals clause is not so.
"When you read the contract you will see that it doesn't keep anyone from teaching in our schools on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation," said Andriacco. "Our Catholic schools are a ministry of the Catholic Church. It shouldn't surprise anyone that we ask our teachers who serve in them not to contradict the teachings of the Church by their public actions or pronouncements."