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Cincinnati Catholic school teachers resign over anti-gay morality clause

Teachers call the clause an embarrassment and a scandal.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM
| License Photo

CINCINNATI, June 2 (UPI) -- Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are resigning rather than sign a new contract that includes a morality clause banning public support of the LGBT community. Additionally, teachers cannot publicly support sex outside of marriage nor the use of in-vitro fertilization.

"It is an embarrassment and a scandal, and will drive even more Catholics away from an institution so out of touch with its times," Robert Hague, a high-school English teacher for 50 years, told CNN.

Hague will leave his job instead of sign the new contract, citing opposition to the "the language, the intent, and the tone" of the morality clause.

"This is a deep human issue and to dismiss it ... by calling (homosexuality) a lifestyle seems to be a huge misunderstanding on the cognitive level ... It's a dismissal of other human beings," Hague wrote in an open letter to Cincinnati Catholic Schools Superintendent Jim Rigg.

Molly Shumate taught first grade before the new contract brought her 14-year career to an end. Shumate's 22-year-old son is gay.

"If my son were to say to me, 'will you go somewhere with me that is supported or run by gays and lesbians,' I would have to tell him no, according to that contract. And if my picture was taken, what would happen?" Shumate posed to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Among the teachers who chose to sign the contract, anxiety and guilt abounds.

Roger Rosen teaches French and Latin at the same Catholic school where he was valedictorian almost five decades prior. He said he signed the new contract because he felt he had no choice, going as far as to call himself a "coward" for doing so.

"How do I look at a gay student in the eye and tell him he's just as important as everybody else but I'm not allowed to support him as much as I would like?" Rosen asked CNN. "How does that make him feel?"

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