INDIANAPOLIS — A former guidance counselor at an Indianapolis Catholic high school who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage is suing the archdiocese.
Shelly Fitzgerald’s federal lawsuit names the Indianapolis archdiocese and Roncalli High School as defendants. It alleges that Fitzgerald was discriminated against and faced retaliation because of her sexual orientation.
Fitzgerald married her wife, Victoria, in 2014. Fitzgerald had worked at Roncalli High School for 15 years before being placed on administrative leave last year because of her same-sex marriage. She was later fired.
Her lawsuit, filed Monday, seeks unspecified damages, including for lost wages and emotional distress.
The archdiocese said in a statement that the U.S. Supreme Court “has repeatedly recognized that religious schools have a constitutional right to hire leaders who support the schools’ religious mission.”
“Catholic schools exist to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation. To accomplish their mission, Catholic schools ask all teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to uphold the Catholic faith by word and action, both inside and outside the classroom. If a school’s leaders reject core aspects of the Catholic faith, it undermines the school’s ability to accomplish its mission,” the statement said.
“Many families in our community have sacrificed so their children can attend schools where they will learn the Catholic faith. They rely on the Archdiocese to uphold the fullness of the Catholic teaching throughout its schools, and the Constitution fully protects the Church’s efforts to do so,” the archdiocese said.
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