In response to the Columbus Diocese refusal to reinstate Carla Hale as a physical education teacher at Bishop Watterson High School, Amanda Finelli of #halestormOhio and Glen Skeen of Pride @ Work Ohio have invited the bishop to attend a discussion panel on the topic of LGBT employees and faith-based workplaces.
Carla Hale has been fighting for justice ever since she lost her job due to her sexual orientation this April. After an anonymous source sent a letter of complaint to the diocese in response to Hale's partner's name appearing in a newspaper obituary, the school system within the Catholic Diocese of Columbus fired Hale.
Hale's students started a petition in support of her position, but even over 130,000 signatures wasn't enough to change the outcome. The superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus declined to reinstate her teaching position.
In response to this rejection from the school system, Pride @ Work Ohio and #halestormOhio are working towards making changes for the future. After the Columbus Diocese refused to reinstate Hale, Amanda Finelli of #halestormOhio and Glen Skeen, President of Pride @ Work Ohio, dropped off a bold letter of request to Bishop Frederick Campbell at the diocesan offices in downtown Columbus. The letter is an invitation to the Bishop asking him to come speak with the AFL-CIO of central Ohio and these advocacy organizations during a panel discussion on the rights of LGBT people in workplaces, with a focus on faith-based places of employment. Panel organizers also plan to invite city and state officials to the panel planned for June 26th, 2013. They have not yet decided on whether or not to have the discussion open to the public.
All of the host organizations believe this meeting is the next step that needs to be taken to make sure there is justice for Carla Hale and others in similar situations. The AFL-CIO stated they are involved in this case because it is a "workplace issue." The AFL-CIO works as an organization "to ensure that all people who work receive the rewards of their work - decent paychecks and benefits, safe jobs, respect and fair treatment."
George Jones, diocesan spokesperson, said he had no immediate comment on whether or not the bishop would consider attending because he was unaware the letter was even sent to Bishop Campbell. Pride @ Work Ohio and #halestormOhio hope for the best possible outcome. They want to move forward from this disheartening sitution, find justice for Hale, and prevent this from happening to anyone else in the future.
Continue to support Carla Hale by adding your name to the petition.
Watch report from the Columbus Dispatch speaking with Amanda Finelli of #halestormOhio: