Following the death of her mother last month, Ohio Catholic high school teacher Carla Hale included the name of her longtime partner in the obituary. After returning to work following the funeral, administrators presented her with a copy of the obituary along with an anonymous letter that called the presence of a gay teacher in the school a disgrace. Less than two weeks later, Hale, a teacher at Bishop Watterson High School for nearly 20 years, was fired.
Hale, 57, worked at the school as a physical education teacher. Once news of her firing began to spread, students started a petition to have her job reinstated.
Hale has also filed a legal claim seeking to get her job back, and thanks to a city ordinance, she has a good chance of prevailing..
A Columbus ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on sexual orientation, and city law also says that an employer cannot have a policy that discriminates based on sexual orientation. Those found guilty may face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Napoleon Bell, executive director of Columbus' Community Relations Commission, also states that the city law does not included an exemption for religious organizations.