Some Catholics, teachers protest Archdiocese of Cincinnati's morality clause in teacher contract

24,000 signatures submitted

CINCINNATI - Thousands of teachers, parents and parishioners oppose the morality clause within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's teacher contract and want it changed.

Some took petitions signed by more than 24,000 supporters to the Archdiocese Tuesday.

Molly Shumate says she has been a teacher at a Catholic elementary school in Hamilton County for 14 years. She has a gay son and refused to sign a contract that says she's can't publicly support a homosexual lifestyle.

"I would never initial next to a statement saying that I will not support my son who in my eyes my God made perfectly. I will not do that," Shumate said.

The 2014-2015 contract states that a teacher cannot publicly support living together outside of marriage, sexual activity out of wedlock, homosexual lifestyle, use of in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination and abortion.

Holly End said she might have to pull her two kids out of Nativity School in protest.

"I would consider pulling my kids and that's the sad thing," End said. "I believe they go to a wonderful school. but I don't want to teach them it's OK to mandate what people believe in their heart and decisions they make in own private lives."

"If you were to sign then violate one of these precepts," said Patti Newberry, a parishioner,  "I think you would be putting yourself in danger of being fired."

A spokesperson for the archdiocese said a teacher could get a suspension or a written warning - not a pink slip -  if they violate the contract.

He said a lot of teachers have already signed this contract, and if they signed it this past school year, they should be willing to sign this one.

The archdiocese says next year's contract is no different than the current one. It writes out specific examples, whereas the current one didn't.

The spokesperson says the contract will not be changed, regardless of the petitions turned in Tuesday.


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