Target: Monica Collins, Principal
Goal: Demand justice for gay teacher fired for getting married
A man got fired from his teaching position for marrying his same-sex partner. He had worked at the school for 17 years before he was fired.
Ken Bencomo married his partner, Christopher Persky, after a 10-year relationship. Their marriage took place very quickly after Proposition 8 in California was denied. This led to their union being very publicly recognized by news sources, causing concern for the Catholic school at which Bencomo worked.
Bencomo had been teaching for 17 years when he was fired from St. Lucy’s Priory High School for marrying his same-sex spouse. He was fired because his marriage had become public, and therefore he was flaunting his sexuality and actively violating the church teachings. The school indicated that the same punishment would take place if an individual publicly had children outside of marriage.
Although the state of California has worker protection laws that make it illegal for individuals to be discriminated against based on their sexuality, the law does not provide this same protection over the Catholic school because of its religious affiliation. Teachers in parochial schools are often classified as a type of clergy, and therefore schools often get away with dismissing employees based on sexual orientation. St. Lucy’s has not yet indicated that their decision to fire Bencomo is under that type of jurisdiction, and Bencomo is hoping that because of that he will be able to have discussions with the school and be reinstated without having to take any legal action.
By signing the petition below you will be asking St. Lucy’s to reconsider their decision and reinstate this veteran teacher at their school.
Dear Principal Monica Collins,
The education of today’s youth is incredibly important, and having teachers who are dedicated to providing meaningful education is often difficult to find. Maintaining teachers who do this, then, is important and should not be blocked because of discrimination based on sexuality.
I am writing you to demand that you reinstate Ken Bencomo as a teacher at St. Lucy’s Priory High School. Firing Bencomo based on his sexuality demonstrates severe injustice and hatred that does not represent the tenets of Christianity. It would be much more impressive to reinstate Bencomo regardless of his sexuality, and this kind of action would show students at St. Lucy’s the type of acceptance and loyalty that youth at a Catholic institution should learn. I hope that you will take very carefully into consideration the importance of loving one’s neighbor by reinstating Bencomo at your institution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: xMissLovelessx via DeviantArt