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Gay Teacher Wants Bishop Watterson Job Back

Updated: Wednesday, April 17 2013, 08:39 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- Thousands of central Ohioans are supporting an effort to reinstate a popular teacher who says she was fired for being gay.

Phys-ed teacher Carla Hale told ABC 6/FOX 28 she was fired from Bishop Watterson High School a week after the posting of her mother's obituary, which listed Hale's female partner as her spouse.

“I’m not ashamed, and my mom loved Julie, and Julie loved my mom; she should have been included as all other family.”

After the obituary was published, an anonymous letter was sent to the Bishop Watterson Diocese by the mother of a student, expressing outrage over Hale's employment.

"I was shocked by what I saw," the letter read. "It had her teacher's name and that of her 'spouse' listed. It was two females.

"How can the Diocese of Columbus allow this?"

Hale was fired a week after the obituary was brought to the attention of the Diocese. In the termination letter, Hale is told, "Your written spousal relationship violates the moral laws of the Catholic Church."

In response to the Hale's firing, the former teacher's supporters created an online petition, calling for her reinstatement. As of Wednesday, the petition had garnered more than 7000 signatures.

Despite her firing, Hale said she hopes to return to Bishop Watterson to resume her career.

“Bishop Watterson is a great place to work. It’s a great place to be."

Hale's lawyer, Thomas Tootle, has filed a grievance on behalf of his client, which could lead to binding arbitration.

Tootle said he may file a lawsuit if the arbitration process does not result in Hale's reinstatement.


Reporter: Carol Luper
Web Producer: Ken HinesGay Teacher Wants Bishop Watterson Job Back

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