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Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after wedding makes local news

Thursday, August 1, 2013
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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A California man says he was fired from his teaching job at a Catholic high school less than two weeks after his marriage to his same-sex partner was featured in local news reports.

Ken Bencomo

Ken Bencomo, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., says he was fired St. Lucy’s Priory High School, an all-girls Catholic school, in Glendora, Calif., where he worked for 17 years and was head of the English department, yearbook adviser and dance coach.

He said the school knew he was gay, had renewed his teaching contract year after year, and that school administrators had even met his husband in the past.

But when his July 1 marriage to Christopher Persky, 32, was announced in local papers, including the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Bencomo said he was fired.

“The reason given was that the marriage occurred and the school’s position was that it violated church teachings,” said Bencomo’s attorney, Patrick McGarrigle.

KCBS-TV has a report:

John Andrews, a spokesman for the Diocese of San Bernardino, said its Catholic schools do not discriminate based on lifestyle choices but “if a teacher or school employee makes a public display of behavior that is counter to church teaching — such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, having a child outside of marriage — that can impact their employment status.”

A petition at Change.org has been launched calling for Bencomo to be reinstated.

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