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Catholic church tells teacher either not show support for gay rights, or leave

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Molly Shumate has taught first grade at a Catholic grade school in Cincinnati, Ohio for fourteen years. It is safe to say that she loved imparting learning to her young students. But she is not going to work there anymore. She would have to sign a contract, along with other teachers, stating that she would not engage in "public support of homosexual lifestyle." Yes, that's in the contract.

This contract supposedly bans speaking out against other Catholic teachings. Would the archdiocese though, punish a teacher that spoke in support the death penalty? The death penalty is generally prohibited by Catholicism, but I doubt such a person would be punished. Nor should they.

Now, the archdiocese of Ohio have the right to put these prohibitions into a contract. First Amendment rights are basically protections against the government itself, and although the Catholic Church is very powerful and was an arm of many European governments in the Middle Ages, they aren't so today.

So, Molly Shumate could have either signed the contract or show support for her son. She stated that if she had signed that contract she would be telling her son, Zach, "that I don't support him as I did, and I won't do that."

If she signed the contract she could not go with her son to a gay rights rally or meeting. She could not even write a letter in support of gay rights or marriage equality to her local newspaper. She could not join a group like PFLAG, a group that was created to offer support for the family and friends of gays and lesbians.

She would have effectively surrendered her free speech rights on this issue. She didn't want to do that, though it is obvious how much her job meant to her.

The Catholic leaders of this area wanted to silence those who disagreed with them on this issue. If they could, they might even try to silence everyone who goes to their pews on Sundays. If not, then why try to silence a teacher who by no means anyone

There are groups that work to support gay rights and marriage equality in America, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. None of them, by the way, are trying to silence any of their employees on any issue.