Indy archdiocese claims First Amendment defense against gay teacher’s lawsuit

INDIANAPOLIS — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis is saying the First Amendment should block a gay teacher’s lawsuit against them for discrimination. On Thursday, the Indianapolis Star reported that the archdiocese was trying to have the lawsuit dismissed by claiming the First Amendment prohibits a secular court from ruling on church matters. According to the newspaper, the archdiocese said “This case strikes at the heart of the First Amendment’s protections for separation of church and state.” Joshua Payne-Elliott sued the archdiocese for discrimination in July. He had been fired from Cathedral High School in June for being in a same-sex marriage.

Indy school barred from Catholic athletics for refusing to fire gay teacher

INDIANAPOLIS — Brebeuf High School in Indianapolis has been barred from a Catholic athletic invitational after losing its status as a Catholic school. It lost the status after refusing to fire a gay teacher. The Indianapolis Star reported that the school’s girls’ golf team was left out of the Guerin Catholic Invitational on Aug. 5 at Guerin Catholic, a traditional season-opening event. The event also included Bishop Chatard, Cardinal Ritter, Cathedral and Roncalli.

Brebeuf to appeal split with Catholic archdiocese over gay teacher

INDIANAPOLIS — Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis is appealing the decision of the Indianapolis archdiocese to no longer recognize the school as Catholic in Rome. The archdiocese cut ties to the school in June when Brebeuf refused to fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage. 

The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that the school’s appeal is being lead by the Jesuits, who sponsor the school. 

From the Indianapolis Star:

As is required by the Catholic Church, the order first requested that the archbishop reconsider his decision and rescind the decree. He declined to do so, according to a letter sent Sunday to members of the Brebeuf community. Now, the school has taken its case to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. The hope is that the decree will be overruled and, in the meantime, that its effects will be suspended during the appeals process.

Gay Roncalli counselor sues school, Indianapolis archdiocese for discrimination

INDIANAPOLIS — A gay guidance counselor who was fired from Roncalli High School in Indianapolis is suing the school and the Indianapolis Catholic archdiocese for discrimination. 

The Indianapolis Star reported that it was the second lawsuit brought against the archdiocese this month. 

According to the Star, Lynn Starkey is alleging the the school and archdiocese created a hostile work environement and discriminated against her on the basis of orientation and retaliated when she complained. The newspaper said Starkey had worked at the school for 40 years until she was fired because she married another woman. From the Indianapolis Star:

The archdiocese said in a statement released Monday that it has the right “to hire leaders who support the schools’ religious mission.” 
“Catholic schools exist to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation,” the archdiocese said. “To accomplish their mission, Catholic schools ask all teachers, administrators and guidance counselors to uphold the Catholic faith by word and action, both inside and outside the classroom.” Starkey is the second Roncalli guidance counselor to raise discrimination complaints against the school and archdiocese.

Indiana appeals court allows two trans women to keep name changes private

INDIANAPOLIS — An appeals court in Indiana has reversed decisions of county courts and ruled that two transgender women can keep the details of their name changes private. 

The Indianapolis Star reported that at least one woman had been refused service in her town and saw threatening social media posts from a neighbor. The other said making it public would put a target on her back. From the Indianapolis Star:

“It’s dangerous,” said one of the women told IndyStar. “You never know how someone is going to react. There is a fear that the likelihood of a problem occurring kind of goes up.”

Indy teacher fired for same-sex marriage suing archdiocese

INDIANAPOLIS — Joshua Payne-Elliott, who had reached a settlement with Cathedral High School just yesterday, is suing the Roman Catholice Archdiocese of Indianapolis for discrimination. The Indianapolis Star reported on Wednesday that Payne-Elliott had not been publicly identified until now. His husband, Layton Payne-Elliott, is a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. Both schools are part of the archdiocese and had been ordered to fire the men for being in a same-sex marriage. Brebeuf refused and can no longer use Catholic in their name.