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Lesbian teacher fired from Ohio Catholic school won’t get her job back

Thursday, August 15, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Carla Hale, a popular physical education teacher and coach who was fired by the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, will not return to Bishop Watterson High School for a 20th year of teaching.

Carla Hale

Hale’s lawyer and the diocese released a joint statement this afternoon announcing an agreement whose terms they said they will not disclose.

What they will say: Hale’s termination won’t be reversed, but she will receive acknowledgement for her 19 years of service to the school.

Hale said she was fired by Bishop Frederick Campbell in March after her mother’s obituary included the name of her partner and someone complained.

Catholic officials insisted that they didn’t fire Hale because she’s a lesbian, but because she “publicized a spousal relationship” with another woman.

A statement released Thursday, signed by diocese spokesman George Jones and Hale’s lawyer, Thomas Tootle, reads: “Hale and the diocese stand firm on their principles but are pleased that they were able to come to a resolution.”

Hale has dropped her complaint with the Columbus Community Relations Commission under a city law that forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. She won’t pursue the matter in court, either, Tootle told Outlook Columbus.

“All pending issues between Carla, the diocese and Bishop Watterson have been resolved,” he said.

Hale will start a job as a substitute teacher on Monday and continues to seek full-time work, Tootle said.

“She’s open to job offers.”

© Outlook Columbus. An LGBTQ Nation media partner.
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