Eye on Education

Catholic Teachers Union Will Not Support Fired Gay Teacher

Tom Borgerding / WOSU

Carla Hale and her lawyer, Tom Tootle, announcing that her union will not support her request to get her job back.

Carla Hale, the gay teacher recently fired from a Columbus-area Catholic school, does not have her union’s support in her efforts to get her job back.

Hale was initially fired from Bishop Watterson High School after naming her girlfriend in an obituary for her mother.

Hale argues she was fired for being gay. The Catholic church has maintained that she was fired for revealing a “quasi-spousal relationship” outside of marriage.

Our colleagues at WOSU report the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators said it will not support Hale in her efforts to get her job back:

In a letter from the teachers’ union Hale provided to WOSU, union President Kathleen Mahoney stated, “[the union's] decision should not be interpreted as reflecting unfavorably upon Ms. Hale as a person or as an educator.”

Hale had taught at the Catholic school for 19 years, and says they were the best times of her career.

In many Catholic schools, including Bishop Watterson, teachers have to sign agreements that they will abide by the tenets of the Catholic church. Violating those tenets can be cause for termination, and has led to lawsuits elsewhere in the state.

Hale’s lawyer, Tom Tootle, argues that clause could be used for just about anyone.

“We have great respect for the separation of church and state but where do you draw the line?” Tootle says. “Does the electrician that comes in to fix [something in the school] have to abide? Does the school nurse not use contraception?”

Hale’s next step is to appeal to the school’s superintendent.

Hale has also filed a complaint about her firing with the Columbus Community Relations Commission, citing a city ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation.


  • Edward Lamb


    The first website made by Catholic School Students, for Catholic School Students.

  • Alexis

    you say god planned our life right? so god wanted him to be a homosexual, if this was not god creation how is he still alive or even created ..god say dont judge.. dont judge because of who he is

  • Jill

    I’m so thankful! Both the Bishop and for COCE are followed through with what needed to be carried out. Carla Hale broke the contract that she signed she can work at any public school she wishes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marco-Luxe/100002339370351 Marco Luxe

    I’m sad for Ms. Hale, but this case is going to be delicious. The RCC will be shown to be acting capriciously unless it can show that all the tenets of the faith are enforced equally against school employees, and many teachers are fired. I look forward to reading about blood tests for female teachers to see if they’re on the pill; invasive exams to show evidence of abortions, review of public records to reveal hidden divorces and remarriages, and even meat inspection of Friday bag lunches. RCC: be careful of the battles you choose, as this one may be a doozie, and Ms. Hale isn’t even Catholic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marco-Luxe/100002339370351 Marco Luxe

    The RCC’s doctrines can be used against them. I’m pretty sure that a “quasi-spousal relationship” has no subparagraph in the catechism, etc., and thus it doesn’t exist in eyes of the RCC. How can they fire Ms. Hale for being in something that is nonexistent ? That is pretty much the definition of arbitrary and capricious, and a sure loser even in canonical law.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marco-Luxe/100002339370351 Marco Luxe

      Even more hypocrisy: How can the RCC fire Ms. Hale for a “quasi
      spousal relationship”, when it is just that kind of relationship that
      they approve of. [deep and committed caring for our brothers and
      sisters in Christ]? What they don’t approve of is a church blessing for
      “spousal relationships”, like remarriages after divorce. How many
      teachers have they fired for that reason? Regardless: how can a
      teacher be fired for doing something that doesn’t exist in RCC
      doctrine. It would be like the RCC firing a teacher for keeping kosher
      at home – eating kosher food has no effect in RCC doctrine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marco-Luxe/100002339370351 Marco Luxe

    Sue the union! It’s constitution states: The purpose of this Association shall be to foster Catholic education in the Diocese of Columbus by:
    A. Monitoring, protecting, and improving the welfare of all Diocesan teachers;
    B. Promoting the professional growth of teachers …through the improvement of the welfare of the teachers.

    Officers can be removed for “malfeasance, nonfeasance, neglect.” It seems like the decision to not represent Ms. Hale after 19 years due to a parenthetical notation in an obituary is clear nonfeasance.

    Teachers pay dues, thus the constitution is part of a contract. Sue for breach.

  • Bill Keegan

    Are you kidding me!!!!!! I went to catholic school my whole life. Past Grand Knight of my council. 4th Degree member…….52yrs in the catholic church. All sacrements recieved….. Where is Father Feel Good, moved to a different church, hidden ot the seminary, sent to a different state, this lady Carla Hale a accredited teacher,award winning 19.5 yr veteran of the school system, is fired for what……..Did God say I will not forgive or allow any Gay, Lesbian or transgender to come to Heaven. They are a morphanism and will not be allowed in our presence in Heaven??????? As I have been taught God is there for everyone……Apparently in the Eyes of the Catholic Church only for some and the Pedofile Priests that need his help. I am Proud to say that I have left the Catholic Church and taken my wife and daughter with me for this reason….READ YOUR BIBLE PEOPLE if Ms. Hale is at the wrong end of the moral scope then so are 65% of your Parish Priests that are either having affairs with women or are Gay……Yep hard to believe that 65% of our Priest are Gay NOW how does that make Ms. Hale a Morally Inept Individual…….This is Blastphomy at its finest. Jill you are an idiot. Apparently you live in a shell under a tree…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patsy-Nomore/100003129642483 Patsy Nomore

    WE don`t flinch these days when churches act like bigoted azz holes…But unions are held to a higher standard…I`m disappointed…

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