John M. Becker

Catholic Teacher With Gay Son Refuses to Sign Anti-Gay Contract

Filed By John M. Becker | May 12, 2014 7:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Catholic attacks on LGBT rights, Catholic Church, Cincinnati, employment discrimination, equality moms, Molly Shumate, Ohio, parents, pro-equality Catholics

molly-shumate-ohio-catholic-teacher.jpgIn March, we reported here at Bilerico on a new anti-LGBT provision that the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio inserted into its teacher contracts for next year.

The provision forbids educators not just from coming out as gay or marrying a same-sex spouse, but even from publicly expressing support for LGBT equality, both at school and in their personal lives.

For at least one educator -- a mother of a gay son -- this attempted silencing was the last straw: she refused to sign the contract, choosing instead to end her fourteen-year teaching career with the Cincinnati Archdiocese. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:

Veteran Catholic teacher Molly Shumate stared at the Cincinnati Archdiocese contract for next school year and thought of her son.

She remembered when a nervous Zachery Shumate, a teenager at the time, approached her and revealed his homosexuality. His revelation prompted the first-grade teacher to give him a hug, telling her boy she would always love and support him.

So when the new teachers' contract - strictly forbidding public support of homosexuality - was handed to her earlier this year, she was torn...

Shumate (above), whom the paper describes as a "lifelong Catholic and devoted teacher," was reportedly "stunned" by the contract's intrusion into her personal life and the way it restricted her ability to publicly support her son, who is now 22.

"In my eyes there is nothing wrong with my son," she said. "This is what God gave me and what God created and someone I should never be asked to not support."

So Molly knew what she had to do.

The Enquirer's Michael D. Clark writes:

Shumate will not be signing the Archdiocese's teacher employment contract for next school year. And when the last class bell at her Hamilton County school rings out the finish of the school year later this month, it will also toll the end of her Catholic teaching career.

She is the first teacher in the archdiocese to take such a stand, but she's not expected to be the last.

ohio-catholic-contract-protest-sign.jpgMolly Shumate is my hero today. Hell hath no fury like a parent fighting for their LGBT child, and I know from personal experience how much it means to have parents who will fight for you like that -- who will speak out for you and stand up for your human dignity, even when it could literally cost them their jobs. What Molly did is one of the most beautifully profound ways a parent can say to their child, not just in word but in deed, I love you.

Zachery, Molly's son, agrees. He told the Enquirer: "It's hard to put into words how proud I am of her. For her to step into the public eye like this and go against the (church) ... because she has a gay son speaks volumes about the kind of person she is."

Billboards opposing the contract have sprung up across the Cincinnati metro area. They read, "Would Pope Francis Sign the New Catholic Teacher Contract?" I don't think he would -- but more importantly, I don't think Jesus would either. He'd be standing with Molly Shumate instead.

h/t: Queerty.
Photos: Facebook.

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