John M. Becker

Miami Archdiocese Threatens to Fire Employees Who Publicly Back Marriage

Filed By John M. Becker | January 06, 2015 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Catholic attacks on LGBT rights, Catholic Church, Florida, gay marriage, marriage equality, Miami, same-sex marriage

thomas-wenski-miami.jpgAs the freedom to marry comes to Florida, the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami is warning its employees -- who work at the diocese's 73 schools, two colleges, two hospitals, two seminaries, three senior living centers, and nine health care centers -- that they may be fired if they publicly support marriage equality... even on their personal social media pages.

NBC affiliate WTVJ-TV reports:

As gay marriage began across Miami-Dade County Monday afternoon, the Archdiocese issued a letter to its employees saying they could be fired for any conduct that is "inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church."

The letter, from Archbishop Thomas Wenski, told employees that "All employees should note that, because of the Church's particular function in society, certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action, including termination, even if it occurs outside the normal working day and outside the strict confines of work performed by the employee for the Archdiocese."

More, after the break.

The WTVJ report continues:

Archbishop Wenski's letter continued warning employees that the conduct requirements also extend to the Internet. "Employees should exercise discretion when posting on social media sites, and note that online activity indicative of prohibitive behaviors may subject an employee to disciplinary action or termination."

Wenski's move is a direct repudiation of Pope Francis's call for the Catholic Church to stop being "obsessed" with opposing same-sex marriage.

silencing our storiesIt's also the latest disturbing attempt by U.S. Catholic leaders to police the personal lives of their lay employees. The Cincinnati Archdiocese made headlines last March when it forced teachers working in Catholic schools to sign a contract prohibiting them not just from being gay, but from making any kind of public expression of support for LGBT people. And educators and staff in parishes across the country have been fired for "offenses" including marrying a same-sex spouse, coming out of the closet, and refusing to condemn their gay children.

Unless he's lost his marbles, Archbishop Wenski knows the die is cast on marriage equality, and that that the Catholic Church's official position on the issue is a losing one -- American Catholics support same-sex marriage at an even higher rate than the general public. But instead of accepting defeat, he's reaching deeply into his employees' private lives and asserting a right to stifle their free expression far beyond school and church walls.

The message from the Miami Archdiocese to their employees is clear: if you believe that all loving and committed couples deserve the freedom to marry, you have two choices: shut up, or resign.

Because that's exactly what Jesus would say, right?

Read Wenski's letter in full (click to enlarge):

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