Gay Michigan teacher says pregnancy got her fired

A former chemistry teacher at a suburban Detroit Catholic high school said she was fired after becoming pregnant in a gay marriage.
AP Wire
Sep 4, 2014

Barbara Webb, 33, of Madison Heights said she was fired from the all-girls Marian High School in August after working there for nine years. She notified employers of her pregnancy in July.

Although Webb's termination letter didn't give a reason for her firing, she said, her contract prohibits her from making lifestyle decisions or actions that are contrary to Catholic doctrine.

"That you can't hide a pregnancy from the public is why I was terminated," she said.

The school's president, Sister Lenore Pochelski, confirmed to the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday that Webb's employment ended Aug. 19. She declined to comment for confidentiality reasons.

Webb said she declined an offer to resign with health insurance through the spring semester but without pay or other benefits.

"I really felt like resigning was a lie; to me, that was willingly leaving," Webb said. "I was kind of compelled to just let people know the truth."

Webb isn't sure whether or not she will press charges against the school. An employment lawyer in Bloomfield Hills, Deborah Gordon, said freedom of religion under the First Amendment could apply if the case went to court.

"Pregnancy discrimination is flat-out illegal," Gordon said. "There are exemptions for religious institutions. I don't know if she's going to fit into one of them here."

A number of people from the Marian community have spoken out against the school's decision to fire Webb.

"I think the bigger thing everyone is feeling is we have been taught this whole time to live a Christian life and be accepting of people and yet we go and fire one of our favorite teachers?" said Megan Gorman, a former student of Webb's. "It makes us reconsider and question the time we spent at Marian."

Webb said she valued her time at the high school, but felt she had to come forward with what she sees as a human-rights issue.

"This is definitely not a crusade against the school," Webb said of her decision to go public. "This is so much more than me and Marian. It's letting people know what type of social injustice is still happening."

Comments

Wolverine49457

Does she teach gay people or is she a teacher that is gay?
Either way if she works at a school with religeous doctrine she may not be a good fit there anyway.

unclejoe

Yeah, like I went to St. Matthias the Apostle school and people didn't know if St. Matthias or us kids were apostles.
Surprise! Your employer has 2000 years of tradition that doesn't fit the gay lifestyle and they canned you.
said Megan Gorman, a former student of Webb's. "It makes us reconsider and question the time we spent at Marian."
Makes Megan's parents question the money they spent at Marian. They could have gotten a first rate plastic surgeon to gussy up the youngster and she coulda snagged one of them Bloomfield Hills attorneys.
Or maybe she could go over to ISIS territory and practice a little acceptance of their lifestyle.
Sometimes Megan, you gotta lay down the law, live by principle and kick some sinners in the fanny.

Freddo

I thought everyone was a sinner under Christian dogma, Joe.

unclejoe

To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection, but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin.
Thomas Aquinas
There is right and wrong in this world Freddo; we can't nor should we try and change other cultures but must define and protect our own culture lest we cease to be relevant.

deuce liti

I wonder why she has a problem getting fired for breaking a contract that she signed?

Caution: coffee is HOT!

happycamper

A Gay person in a Catholic environment and she got pregnant, wow !!!

nextdoor

She may want to check her partner to figure out how she got pregnant.

Vladtheimp

The Turkey Baster discrimination syndrome. . . .

gordbzz231

That was funny !!!

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