Teacher Fired From St. Lucy's Catholic High School, Glendora, California, for announcing wedding

  • metta

    Posts: 39129

    Jul 30, 2013 9:31 PM GMT
    Peition:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/st-lucy-s-priory-high-school-give-ken-bencomo-his-job-back


    Recently Ken Bencomo and Christopher Persky were married in San Bernardino County. Days after their marriage was announced in the local newspaper, The Daily Bulletin, Mr. Bencomo was terminated from his teaching position at St. Lucy's High School in Glendora. St. Lucy's is a Catholic High School for girls.

    Mr. Bencomo is a highly respected and well thought of teacher. The parents and students of St. Lucy's are sad, angry and confused. Personally, I am outraged. Two American citizens, who have been discriminated against for many years, finally have the right to marry and they choose to exercise this right. Only to find themselves being discriminated against again with one of them wrongfully terminated.

    Gay marriages resume in San Bernardino County

    http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_23577009/gay-marriages-resume-san-bernardino-county

    Wow...this one is close to home. Maybe I should picket them! I grew up 2 blocks away from this school.
  • metta

    Posts: 39129

    Jul 30, 2013 9:35 PM GMT
    Ken Bencomo, a high school teacher at St. Lucy's, was fired after 17 years of teaching because he married his boyfriend of over 10 years. Mr. B is adored by all his students and very involved in the school. http://www.change.org/petitions/st-lucy-s-priory-high-school-give-ken-bencomo-his-job-back





    https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Lucys-Priory-High-School-Alumnae/122004494500567?rf=154054621297230


    https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Lucys-Priory-High-School-by-Classmates/386843408034981
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
    I mean, he kinda asked for it. If you work at a Catholic institution, it's okay to tell others you are gay. It is not okay to tell others you are in a relationship, or to announce a wedding in a local newspaper. He's not a victim, at least not completely. You can get away with this sort of thing at a Catholic university, but not at a secondary school.

    This is one reason why I don't intend on working at a Catholic school, at least not in the long-term.

    Also, the school can't do anything about it. From the Church's perspective, he is not just living a sinful life (we all do), but a willfully sinful life. At that point, they have no choice but to fire him, as sad as it is.
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Jul 30, 2013 10:19 PM GMT
    KJSharp saidI mean, he kinda asked for it. If you work at a Catholic institution, it's okay to tell others you are gay. It is not okay to tell others you are in a relationship, or to announce a wedding in a local newspaper. He's not a victim, at least not completely. You can get away with this sort of thing at a Catholic university, but not at a secondary school.

    This is one reason why I don't intend on working at a Catholic school, at least not in the long-term.

    Also, the school can't do anything about it. From the Church's perspective, he is not just living a sinful life (we all do), but a willfully sinful life. At that point, they have no choice but to fire him, as sad as it is.


    Get away with something? You are kidding, right? You mean, get away with loving someone? Isn't that what the Church is supposed to be about? As the Pope just said, Who am I to judge? Who are they to judge?

    Trust me, the kids at that school will be less inclined to pay attention to the Church after this man is kicked out than they were before. Nobody knows hypocrisy when they see it as much as teenagers.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 10:34 PM GMT
    Are you living in some sort of bubble? You are aware what the Catholic Church's official position is regarding homosexuality, homosexual sex, homosexual marriage, etc etc right?
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Jul 30, 2013 10:36 PM GMT
    No bubble, TJ. I just believe that a life lived with boldness and love will do more to change the world and the Church than hiding in a dark and lonely closet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 10:39 PM GMT
    If people of other faiths are permitted to send their children to a Catholic school (and it happens and they are allowed) then the school is merely a "business" offering employment rather then an actual religious center therefore, the teacher should not have been fired because he isn't of the traditional Catholic faith.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 10:39 PM GMT
    That's Glendora.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 10:40 PM GMT
    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you btw, I just know from personal experience that his decision to publish his wedding announcement was not innocent. I can tell you he expected to get fired.

    And that's ridiculous, Ice Buckets. Every liberal justice couldn't believe it when the Obama Administration attempted to make that sort of case in the recent case involving a teacher at a Lutheran school. The Lutheran school won 9-0.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 11:05 PM GMT
    Its a private instituion. They can do what they want. He shouldnt have worked there to begin with. If he is a good teacher, he will get picked up elsewhere.
  • mitshoo

    Posts: 76

    Jul 30, 2013 11:16 PM GMT
    IceBuckets saidIf people of other faiths are permitted to send their children to a Catholic school (and it happens and they are allowed) then the school is merely a "business" offering employment rather then an actual religious center therefore, the teacher should not have been fired because he isn't of the traditional Catholic faith.


    As an ex-Catholic who actually grew up in 12 years of Catholic education, I can tell you that Catholic schools are NOT AT ALL "merely" a business offering employment, and they are in fact an "actual religious center" as you put it. They are a community with values and a lifestyle that they want to live out. Do they hire people from other religions? Yes, my choir director was a Lutheran. Do they allow kids from other religions to attend? Yes. But they also have goals and values. And if an employee/community member is living a life antithetical to their community values, the employee/community member does not belong there.

    Do I agree with the Church's position with regards to homosexuality? Or many other things for that matter? No, not at all. But I understand that they have values I don't, so I let them pursue their lifestyle in the manner of classical, liberal ideal of tolerance, from the philosophy of Locke and Voltaire who gave us that American value. That is why I have parted with the Church in peace. I'll let them do their thing, someday I'll find a new community fit for me. But I am not going to whine that they fired me for not living up to their ideals. It's not a business, it's a community.
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Jul 30, 2013 11:21 PM GMT
    It is a private institution that 1) accommodates the public and 2) receives government dollars to carry out its mission.

    It will be interesting to see if there is a California state discrimination suit brought here. I'm not so sure the federal Lutheran case would apply.

    But even if it does, if the Church wants to play hardball like this, then it might be time to take government money away from the school.



    Dallasfan824 saidIts a private instituion. They can do what they want. He shouldnt have worked there to begin with. If he is a good teacher, he will get picked up elsewhere.
  • Fargo

    Posts: 144

    Jul 30, 2013 11:22 PM GMT
    Anyone else from the gay community feels that sometimes we do indeed try to shove our homosexuality in front of everyone's face?

    I'm not ashamed to be a homosexual, but I treat it as a private matter and do not want other to perceive me (good or bad) because of something that I highly consider private. I don't even discuss my gay life with my friends, and they don't discuss they "straight" life as well.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 11:44 PM GMT
    JBinSFO saidIt is a private institution that 1) accommodates the public and 2) receives government dollars to carry out its mission.

    It will be interesting to see if there is a California state discrimination suit brought here. I'm not so sure the federal Lutheran case would apply.

    But even if it does, if the Church wants to play hardball like this, then it might be time to take government money away from the school.



    Dallasfan824 saidIts a private instituion. They can do what they want. He shouldnt have worked there to begin with. If he is a good teacher, he will get picked up elsewhere.


    It does not accomodate the public as a hole. It accomodates people of that religion. It would not accomodate jews for example. They also do not need to accept everyone that applies. Therefore its not public. Receiving govt money has nothign to do with religion.

    There will be no discrimination suit. They are a religious institution. It would be like suing the church for not hiring a female priest.
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Jul 30, 2013 11:46 PM GMT
    Fargo, I see you are in Kuwait. I'm guessing things are different there. But in the US, marriages are public. They are public contracts which are required to be recognized in various ways by government and sometimes by companies. Marriages can't by law be hidden.

    But even as a matter of culture, to hide that you are married, to pretend that you are not, is to lie to everyone around you. In American culture, being dishonest is considered taboo.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 11:47 PM GMT
    Well now obviously you should not be working for a Catholic Institution if you are openly gay hello.The same would happen if you were at an orthodox Jewish school or Greek orthodox one.He should walk down the street to the Episcopal Church which doubles for a gay social club.icon_smile.gif Ryan
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2013 11:52 PM GMT
    Fargo saidAnyone else from the gay community feels that sometimes we do indeed try to shove our homosexuality in front of everyone's face?

    I'm not ashamed to be a homosexual, but I treat it as a private matter and do not want other to perceive me (good or bad) because of something that I highly consider private. I don't even discuss my gay life with my friends, and they don't discuss they "straight" life as well.

    Just my 2 cents.


    I agree with you. I'm the same way. But not everyone is like that. There are gay men who feel they shouldn't have to keep this part of their lives a well guarded secret. I understand that as well and it takes courage to be that way. However, doesn't matter how you live, someone is gonna give you an attitude and flack for it. What matters is whether or not you're willing to endure the haters.

    But...teaching in a religious institution and announcing your marrage to another man...he knew what would happen. I honestly don't think he cared about getting fired. I wouldn't. Your life should come before your job.
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jul 30, 2013 11:57 PM GMT
    These firings are causing the Catholic Church more harm than good. They may be within their rights to "shield" children from these otherwise good educators, but they are shooting themselves in the foot as these very children get more liberal and more educated on the issue year by year.

    We should all shine a bright light on it and let them continue to commit social suicide.

    The ability for Catholic educators to accept state and federal fees grants and tax-free status is already under question.
  • metta

    Posts: 39129

    Jul 31, 2013 12:02 AM GMT
    Would you feel the same way if someone was fired, not for being gay, but for being either straight, white, black, asian, a woman, a man, green eyed, blue eyed, or brown eyed?
  • JBinSFO

    Posts: 90

    Jul 31, 2013 12:05 AM GMT
    This is not true. They accept anyone who pays. They probably take Jews, athiests just as the catholic school took my parents money and we were Lutheran. It is probably not even required to be Catholic to TEACH at this school, just as we had non-catholic teachers at my school. Being employed by a religiously affiliated business is not the same as being a minister in that religion.

    [quote] It does not accomodate the public as a hole. It accomodates people of that religion. It would not accomodate jews for example. They also do not need to accept everyone that applies. Therefore its not public. Receiving govt money has nothign to do with religion.

    There will be no discrimination suit. They are a religious institution. It would be like suing the church for not hiring a female priest. [/quote]
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 31, 2013 12:42 AM GMT
    metta8 saidWould you feel the same way if someone was fired, not for being gay, but for being either straight, white, black, asian, a woman, a man, green eyed, blue eyed, or brown eyed?

    I'm guessing they would see that as discrimination. Unfortunately, many gay men (on this thread, anyway) are okay with being discriminated against in the name of religion. It's despicable. Religion has been the root of homophobia all over the world. Gay people getting fired from their jobs is not okay. Blaming gay people for coming out when they should know better is not okay. I'm sure these cowards siding with the Catholic church would be the first to turn their backs on someone getting bashed. They're just in it for themselves and to please homophobes.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 31, 2013 12:45 AM GMT
    Btw, taking another glance, I see that those siding with the Catholic church are the usual suspects, who support other forms of bigotry... So, there you have it.
  • mindblank

    Posts: 275

    Jul 31, 2013 12:48 AM GMT
    How is that still even legal there? I thought California was supposed to be the best place on Earth.
  • heyom

    Posts: 389

    Jul 31, 2013 12:51 AM GMT
    Fargo saidAnyone else from the gay community feels that sometimes we do indeed try to shove our homosexuality in front of everyone's face?
    .


    Yes we do.. its also time all those heterosexuals stop shoving it in everyone's faces. i mean honestly? They talk about it since we were young: in fairy tales..in every pop song... every movie..

    Disgusting... these heterosexuals... thinking everyone needs to know their sexual orientation... absolutely disrespectful... they are going to end god's kingdom with that openness, I tell you that
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2013 12:56 AM GMT
    Is anyone surprised? I went to Catholic School my whole life. They fired teachers who they caught were "living in sin" they also fired teachers who get divorced. It's actually in their contracts, that they have to live a Catholic Moral life. They also only hire Catholics......