More than 50 LGBT people report losing jobs at Catholic institutions since 2010

Tue. August 11, 2015 9:48 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

According to New Ways Ministries, more than 50 LGBT people have reported losing their jobs at Catholic institutions since 2010.

The latest firing came in June, when Margie Winters, 50, lost her job at Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia, after a parent complained that she was in a marriage with another woman since 2007.

Last week, Winters delivered 23,000 petitions seeking her reinstatement to her job. Winters, flanked by supporters, handed over the petitions not to a church official but to a security guard.

"The school and the Sisters of Mercy allowed me to work there for eight years," Winters told the AP. "Once the diocese was notified, something changed."

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said that he was "grateful" that Winters was fired and praised school officials for showing "character and common sense."

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministries, told the AP that many Catholic institutions are supportive of their LGBT employees but are forced to act in the face of unwanted attention.

"The pattern that I see is that schools themselves, many of them, have been supportive of their gay and lesbian employees, even those who have chosen to marry," he said. "The problem always arises when something becomes public, or a parent complains. It's bringing out the worst in the leadership, and it's bringing out the best in the people."

The events unfolding in Philadelphia are happening just before Pope Francis is set to visit next month for the World Meeting of Families.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine