The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today called on Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr to remove the so-called “morality clause” from Cincinnati Catholic school teacher contracts for the 2014-2015 school year. The group will gather outside the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library this afternoon at 3:30 and will walk to the Cincinnati Archdiocese to deliver its petitions with 30,000 signatures.
More than 100 people gathered to sing and pray on Fountain Square Tuesday afternoon and then marched to the Cincinnati Archdiocese to turn in petitions protesting the new 2014-2015 contract all teachers at Catholic schools will have to sign.
The contract, says among other things, school employees must "refrain from any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect, discredit or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals."
They are not allowed to give "public support of" the homosexual lifestyle, living together outside of wedlock, abortion, use of a surrogate mother, in vitro fertilization, and artificial insemination. The Catholic Church says public support would include thinks like the "use of media of any kind to promote a viewpoint.... participating in public protests or events or serving on the board of an organization that supports (this) behavior."
Attorney Tim Garry helped organize Tuesday's protest. He says more than 1,000 local people have signed a petition opposing the contract. Nationally, another 20,000 people have signed petitions. Another group says it has 30,000 signatures.
Cincinnati Archdiocese spokesman Steve Trosley says, "It is always good when people show an interest in Catholic education and those who toil to educate our children. The petitions will be studied by the archdiocesan leadership and if action is deemed appropriate, it will be forthcoming."
No lawsuit has been filed yet over the new contract. Garry says it would come down to an individual who has been disciplined under it.
The Archdiocese says 3,600 employees will be affected by the new contract.