Moorhead teacher fired for gay marriage stance [UPDATED]Published 8:41am Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Updated 11:44am Tuesday, June 12, 2012
MOORHEAD — A Catholic school in Moorhead terminated a fifth grade teacher after she told administrators she disagreed with the church’s stance on gay marriage.
Trish Cameron was notified June 1 that she wouldn’t be offered a new contract at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. The decision came after Cameron filled out a self-evaluation form in which she admitted to personally disagreeing with the church’s stance on some issues, but said she never brought those opinions into the classroom, The Forum newspaper reported.
“We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a ‘political’ topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does),” Cameron wrote in a letter to families and staff at St. Joseph’s after she was terminated.
Cameron wrote that her disclosure on the self-evaluation form led to a follow-up meeting with school officials in which she specifically voiced disagreement with the church’s opposition to gay marriage. She was then asked to write a brief letter of resignation, she said.
Cameron had taught at the school for 11 years. Catholic schools are not bound by the same employment laws as public institutions and can terminate employees for not properly teaching tenets of the faith, although the law is less clear on whether they can be fired for privately held views not expressed in the classroom.