A teacher at the Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, Ark., is out of a job after marrying her long-time female partner in New Mexico.
Tippi McCullough was reportedly told by the school’s principal that she must resign or be fired because she married her female partner, according to the Arkansas Times.
McCullough has reportedly been an English teacher at the school for 15 years. She recently married Barb Mariani, her partner of 14 years, in Albuquerque, N.M., a state where same-sex marriages are legal.
Shortly after the marriage, McCullough reportedly received a call from the school’s principal.
“[The principal] told me she never thought the day would come, that I was a great teacher and that she would give me a glowing recommendation if I resigned,” McCullough said. “She said her hands were tied when I signed a legal document.”
McCullough told the Arkansas Times that a contract clause allows dismissal for a lifestyle contrary to church teaching. She reportedly asked the principal for an explanation of how she’d violated that clause.
“She said she wasn’t going to get into a theological discussion and there was nothing she could do,” McCullough stated.
The Human Rights Campaign is now calling on the school to immediately cease discriminatory employment practices targeting their LGBT teachers.
“To fire a beloved teacher simply because she is gay is morally reprehensible,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native. “At a moment when Pope Francis is urging the Catholic hierarchy to put aside judgment and a decades-long campaign targeting devoted LGBT Catholics, it’s shameful that this school is ignoring that hopeful message in favor of explicit and baseless discrimination.”
McCullough will get 30 days of severance pay.