INDIANAPOLIS–A Catholic school can fire someone because they are in a same-sex marriage, was the ruling of the Indiana Supreme Court. It’s Wednesday decision was that a lawsuit filed by former Cathedral High School teacher Joshua Payne Elliot would not be reinstated.
The decision was 4-0, without the participation of Chief Justice Loretta Rush.
The court says the church, in this case the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, can decide matters of faith and doctrine without interference from the government, a decision that attorney Luke Goodrich, lawyer for the Archdiocese, called a “dose of common sense”.
“It is also a powerful application of the principle of “separation of church and state,” rightly understood: The state can’t insert itself into the internal governance of the church. Catholic schools exist to teach the faith to the next generation–and they can’t carry out that mission if the law forces them to employ teachers who reject core aspects of the Catholic faith,” he Tweeted.
Payne-Elliot was fired in June 2019, he says because the Archdiocese disapproved of his marriage two years earlier to Layton Payne-Elliot, a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit School.
Layton Payne-Elliot was also ordered fired. The school refused and was dropped from the Archdiocese. That decision was overruled by the Vatican, which restored Brebeuf as a Catholic Jesuit School.
Payne-Elliot has 10 days to amend his lawsuit.