Roman Catholic institutions don't stop firing LGBT employees

The number of employees and volunteers fired from Roman Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations continues to roll unchecked. GLAAD has previously brought you the stories of Carla Hale, Nicholas Coppola, Mark Zmuda, Marla Krolikowskii, and more. And there have been even more terminations that haven't received as much widespread attention.

That streak continues in St. Louis, Missouri, and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

At the Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro were fired after the school got a copy of their mortgage application, reflecting the fact that they had gotten married in New York over the summer.

And in Bloomfield Hills, a suburb of Detroit, Barbara Webb was fired before the semester began because of what the school called her "non-traditional" pregnancy. Webb is in a committed relationship with another woman.

There is an organized response for Reichert and Gambaro. A group, calling itself Chargers Allies has begun to build a Facebook and a web presence right now.  Religion News Service reports:

Chargers Allies member Coco Fernandez, 22, an alumna of the school who now lives in Chicago, said she wants all who work and attend Cor Jesu to “feel welcomed and accepted as who they are, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Fernandez also said Reichert had been one of her favorite teachers at the school.

“She was a great role model for the girls. She was always kind,” Fernandez said.

“We are being taught to be open and accepting of everybody, and yet teachers are being fired because of their sexual orientation,” Fernandez said when speaking about her education at Cor Jesu.

In a Facebook post, Gambaro wrote that although alumnae support for her and her wife had been overwhelming, “the law is not on our side, nor is the church, so we have no ground to stand on.”

Often, when Catholic employees are fired, they receive local attention, but there has been little widespread media attention on the ongoing epidemic of firings from Roman Catholic institutions. New Ways Ministry is compiling a list of known firings since 2008. This resource is helpful to understand how widespread the internal persecution is against LGBT people in the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, there is a wide gap between the Roman Catholic hierarchy, who largely has been driving the firings, and everyday Catholic people, who widely support LGBT equality.

GLAAD encourages media to take a look at these individual stories, and place them in the wider context of the Roman Catholic hierarchy opposing LGBT equality.