A gay California man who taught at a Catholic school for 17 years was allegedly fired for marrying his longtime partner. According to Ken Bencomo’s attorney, Patrick McGarrigle, St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora told his client that his marriage "violated church teachings." Bencomo, 45, married Christopher Persky, 32.
Bencomo was featured in a newspaper story about his July 1 wedding. His supporters say that story is what led to his firing. McGarrigle claimed that St. Lucy’s "has known of Mr. Bencomo's orientation for years," and that school officials had met his partner in the past.
Sister Helen Dziuk, assistant principal at St. Lucy's, indicated that school attorney Joseph Stark would be handling the matter. Stark said he had not seen the allegations by Bencomo and his lawyer.
According to a spokesman for the Diocese of San Bernardino, John Andrews, Catholic schools do not discriminate based on lifestyle choices but "if a teacher or school employee makes a public display of behavior that is counter to church teaching — such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, having a child outside of marriage — that can impact their employment status."
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About 2,000 people have already signed an online petition protesting the firing, UPI reported.