The Calgary Catholic School district in Canada is having it hot for reportedly telling its teachers to sign documents that noted that same-sex relationships are a breach of their employment contracts.
One of the teachers presented her case before the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
An associate professor with the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at MacEwan University (MU), Kristopher Wells, said: “How can these contracts — these Catholicity clauses — be allowed to stand when they are clearly discriminatory.” He went further to express his dissatisfaction, stating, “It’s hard to believe that in 2018, when same-sex marriage is legal in this country, that anyone could lose their job because of that.”
Wells concluded that the contracts not only create a harmful environment for the teachers, but also for the students. “This is not a system that is directly supported by the church. It is a public education system supported by taxpayers.
Mr Kristopher Wells also said, “But there is this ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mentality that creates feelings of stress, despair, where you have to remain silent to maintain employment.
It is a trend that is fast growing and eating through the very core of society at best, regardless of how exposed the organisation is.
“That not only impacts teachers, but it denies LGBTQ youth the important role models they need,” Wells said.
Teachers are told to sign a contract that conditions them to live a “lifestyle and deportment in harmony with Catholic teaching and principles.”
Superintendent of human resources at CCSD, Richard Svoboda, told the Calgary Herald that “anyone who is not living a lifestyle in alignment with the church, that piece of the contract would impact them. He also stated: “Relationships that would be acceptable are those recognised by the Catholic Church, which has to be acknowledged by a Catholic priest.” He also added that “These would not include a same-sex relationship or common-law relationship.”
Teachers are dealt with on a “case-by-case” basis and encouraged to meet with a Catholic priest. He also said: “It isn’t for me to determine whether they are right or wrong in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
“We provide them with avenues to reconcile.”
Barb Hamilton, a former Calgary Catholic school principal, has also presented her case to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, alleging that due to her sexuality, she was forced to leave her job.