New Ways Ministry congratulates and thanks the Sisters of Mercy and the administrators of Mercy H.S., San Francisco, for their Gospel-based decision to continue employment of one of their teachers who identifies as a transgender man. This decision stands as a beacon of hope in the midst of the terrible darkness of the recent trend of firing LGBT employees from Catholic institutions.
The decision was announced in a letter to parents of students, which, after describing the teacher’s situation, stated:“This afternoon, we informed students, faculty and staff about our resolve to support the dignity of each person—regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identification.”
We applaud, too, the courage of English Department chair and teacher Gabriel Stein-Bodenheimer for honoring his gender identity, as well to his commitment to educate students in the Mercy tradition. His personal example will be a most powerful lesson to all in the school’s community, especially because his decision involved a large degree of risk.
Source: Bondings 2.0
Matthew Barrett has received a settlement in his suit against a Massachusetts Catholic high school which had rescinded their contract with him to be the food service director after they learned that he was legally married to another man.
The Boston Globe reported that the details of the financial settlement are undisclosed, but that the decision means the school, Fontbonne Academy, Dorchester, will not appeal a 2015 state court decision that the school discriminated against Barrett after listing his husband on an emergency contact form.
That earlier decision, which found the school discriminated against Barrett, was the first of its kind, according to legal experts, because it did not allow the school to claim a religious exemption to the state’s anti-discrimination law. The Globe reported that Barrett’s lawyer predicted that the settlement arrived at this week will have wide ramifications for future employment cases:
Source: Bondings 2.0
The Southern Baptist Convention’s polling arm LifeWay is out with a new poll revealing widespread support for gay rights, particularly among young people. According to the survey, a clear majority of Americans believe that “homosexuality is a civil rights issue like gender, race and age,” agree that same-sex marriage is “inevitable” and oppose employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The denomination is a fierce critic of marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and last year passed a resolution “opposing the idea that gay rights are the same as civil rights.”
Richard Land, the denomination’s top political spokesman, has claimed that the Devil is behind homosexuality and warned that gay rights will lead to divine judgment and “paganization.” While the SBC believes it is wrong to consider gay rights a civil rights issues, Land compared his own anti-gay activism to Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.
Key findings from the poll include:
- 64 percent of those polled agreed “it is inevitable that same-sex marriage will become legal throughout the United States.”
- “80 percent of Americans disagree that employers should be allowed to refuse employment to someone based on their sexual preference.”
- 58 percent of respondents agreed with the question: “like age, race, and gender, homosexuality is a civil rights issue.”
- A majority of Americans believe rental halls and landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples.
- “More Americans do not believe homosexual behavior is a sin than those who believe it is a sin.”
The poll also found that women, young people and people with college degrees were more likely to favor gay rights.
LifeWay’s survey appears to line up with a new bipartisan analysis of exit polls which found that opposition to marriage equality is concentrated among the elderly, white evangelical Christians and people without college degrees.
– Right Wing Watch, March 12, 2013