Standing up for LGBT equality was worth more than a year’s salary to this Oregon school counselor.
After receiving backlash for withdrawing an employment offer from a candidate who revealed she would soon be entering a same-sex marriage, board members at St. Mary’s Academy voted to change the school’s policy on hiring gay employees. “I could never live with myself”. The school then withdrew the offer after Brown told the school she was going to marry another woman.
Eight days later, Brown said, Clark called her and said, “It may not work out”.
In a statement, St. Mary’s Academy President, Christina Friedhoff, said the board ‘voted unanimously to support the administration’s recommendation to amend and broaden St. Mary’s policy on equal employment, bringing our employment policies in line with our mission and beliefs’. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample has also voiced his support for the all-girls school’s actions.
“We expect that given certain reassurances by the federal government in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling making “same-sex unions” the law of the land, our religious liberty would be protected in this case as well as any future cases of this sort”. “We believe St. Mary’s Academy, and every other public, private and nonprofit organization in the city, should follow the letter and the spirit of the law, and our shared values”.
In it, president of St. Mary’s Academy Christina Friedhoff explains that the school made the decision to “withdraw an offer of employment to an individual due to a conflict with current catholic teachings regarding same sex-marriage”.
In the agreement, the school cited Brown’s intent to marry, she told the paper, noting that she is neither married or engaged. “We will be reaching out to Ms. Brown and Ms. Brown’s attorney and are open to further discussions with her about reconciliation”.
“Friends, I want to let you all know that I will no longer be at St. Mary’s in the fall”.
That statement echoed numerous themes of the letter to alumni, however it did not clarify what position the person was being hired for and did not elaborate on the conflict in that person’s life that violated Catholics teachings on same-sex marriage. But Brown said she wasn’t planning to marry her girlfriend and that she made it very clear to school officials that she was speaking hypothetically, Mesh said.