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Support growing for fired Catholic teacher who married his partner

Support growing for fired Catholic teacher who married his partner

Support continues to grow the gay Catholic teacher, who taught St Lucy’s Priory School before they fired him for allegedly for marrying his partner.  Over 58,000 people signed an online petition that started on Monday, August 12, 2013, and the number of signers continues to grow.

Ken Bencomo, age 45, who taught English at St. Lucy’s, married his partner, Christopher Persky, age 32, on July 1, 2013, after the California Supreme Court decided that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and same-sex marriages could continue in the state.

Soon after his employer found out he married his partner, he was fired.

Actress Brittany Littleton, age 23, graduated from St. Lucy’s in 2008.  When she heard about the school firing Bencomo, she led a protest, which drew in about 800 people.

“I just believe it’s a complete injustice,” said Brittany Littleton, 23, who graduated from St. Lucy’s in 2008, and launched the petition to reinstate Bencomo on the web-based platform, Change.org. “I was really horrified and sickened and so ashamed of my school for making this decision.”

“There’s been no sense of remorse or understanding of even what a hurtful and prejudicial decision this is,” Littleton said. “So my plan really is just to keep going until they realize that. A lot of it really has to do with church doctrine, so this fight is going to have to continue on past St. Lucy’s.”

Students who heard about the school firing Bencomo — who they affectionately call Mr. B. — knew he was gay but were shocked that the school fired him.  They said they would continue to push the school to re-hire him.

The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and Robert Alaniz, St. Lucy’s media consultant, stated that the school stands by their decision to fire Bencomo.  According to Alaniz, the school did not fire Bencomo because he is gay, but because he made his same-sex marriage a "public spectacle."

While the school is not part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, it follows the educational standards of the archdiocese.  The archdiocese has not commented.

According to a recent poll by Quinnipiac University, surveying around 500 Catholics, 54% Catholic voters support same-sex marriage, with that number growing, while only 38% oppose it.

This case is not the first time, this year, that a Catholic school allegedly fired a teacher or banned a volunteer for their sexual orientation.

In Columbus, Ohio, teacher Carla Hale was fired from a Catholic high school in April, after someone pointed out that she listed her lesbian partner’s name in her mother’s obituary.

And in January, Nicholas Coppola was stripped of his volunteer posts as a religious education teacher, lector and visitation minister at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oceanside, N.Y., after he married his same-sex partner.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Frank

    Sounds like the school got it right.

  • DOR

    Bull Sh!t "the school got it right". If God is to be man's judge, then it's NOT the church's RIGHT or place to fired or ban anyone. This is why so many people are so disappointed in and distrustful of christians. You're a very frightening community. You people speak of love, equality and trusting in God's plan, so who are you to say that someone finding love in another of the same gender ISN'T within God's plan for those two people? God may have been quoted in the bible, but the bible was still written by humans, and it's far easier to trust God then it ever will be to trust most humans.

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