INDIANAPOLIS — Shelly Fitzgerald, the Roncalli guidance counselor who was suspended by the Catholic high school in Indianapolis over her same-sex marriage, says she’s had enough of waiting for the school to make a decision on her employment with the school.
She is filing a discrimination civil suit against the high school and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis accusing the archdiocese of singling her out in enforcing a morality clause of her employment contract with Roncalli.
The morality clause of the contract in question states that all employees live a lifestyle deemed appropriate by the teachings of the Catholic church, which means no same-sex marriages.
“We believe there was discrimination under Title VII,” said Fitzgerald’s lawyer David Page. “One, we believe there was selective enforcement of the contract. Two, there’s not question this was discrimination. Roncolli has admitted this is discrimination.”
Page accuses the archdiocese of “clouding themselves” under the freedom of religion argument, adding that the high School believes that because it is a Catholic institution they are allowed to discriminate.
“I know for a fact that the school is choosing who to enforce this (employment) contract against,” Page said. “I cannot be more specific than that, but (Fitzgerald) is the only one they are enforcing this contract against.”
Roncalli argues Fitzgerald is guilty of breaching her contract with the school for not disclosing her marriage to another woman. Her marriage was discovered by the archdiocese when someone got a hold of her marriage license and turned it into the archdiocese.
Fitzgerald said she never wanted to be the voice of for advocacy.
“But now that my story has gained worldwide attention, I feel compelled to speak out,” Fitzgerald said. “I feel it is my duty to use this platform to promote change.”
She said it is her mission in filing this lawsuit to convince the Catholic church and Catholic high school across the U.S to implement positive and permanent policy changes that affirm the LGBT+ community and acknowledge the rights bestowed upon that community by the rule of law.
“I’m not here to change the teachings of the Catholic church,” Fitzgerald clarified. “I am not here to rewrite the bible. I simply hope to emulate the brave gay men and women who have were pioneers in this cause before me.”
Page agrees adding that the Catholic church can still exist as it does while following the rule of law when it comes to the LGBTQ community.
(PHOTO: WISH-TV Screencap)