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Gay Catholic School Teacher Fired After Getting Married

While gays across the country celebrated the end of Proposition 8, a gay man was fired from his longtime teaching position at a Catholic school in Glendora after he legally married his partner in July.

Ken Bencomo taught for 17 years at St. Lucy's Priory High School, where, his attorney states, school officials knew of Bencomo's sexual orientation. No fuss was made about the teacher's homosexuality, but then he got married.

According to news reports, Bencomo's marriage to Christopher Persky was featured in a local newspaper. Soon thereafter, he was terminated.

Bencomo hired attorney Patrick McGarrigle, who went to the newspapers. After press inquiries, officials at St. Lucy's, a swanky all-girls school, released a clumsy statement saying that the school "is a community for those who wish to express Christian values in education and develop personal and academic excellence."

Gay men and women, especially those who practice Christianity, can take all kinds of exceptions to that odd statement.

John Andrews, a spokesman for the Diocese of San Bernardino, told the press that church officials do not discriminate, but "if a teacher or school employee makes a public display of behavior that is counter to church teaching -- such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, having a child outside of marriage -- that can impact their employment status."

One has to wonder how many straight folks in the diocese who have had sex and/or a child outside of marriage have been fired.

And with Andrews' logic, anyone has broken one of the 10 Commandments -- such as stealing, committing adultery, taking the Lord's name in vain or lying (all of which are worse than marrying someone you love) -- would get a pink slip.

Andrews and St. Lucy's officials apparently didn't hear what Pope Francis recently told reporters about gays, a remark that was heard around the world.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will," said the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, "who am I to judge?"

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Patrick Range McDonald on Twitter at @PRMcDonald.

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