Belen Sassone/ Contributing Writer
When I read that a Miami Catholic school teacher was fired after marrying her same-sex partner, I can’t say I was surprised. Despite the strides the LGBTQ community has made, attempts to dehumanize them continue.
Jocelyn Morffi returned from her weekend wedding in the Keys to find that she had lost her job, according to the Miami Herald. A spokesperson for the archdiocese said that Morffi was terminated for breaking her contract under the church rules of conduct.
While it’s outrageous, the unfair firing is protected by law. Miami-Dade has an ordinance protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination on the basis of employment, but there’s a clause that exempts religious organizations from those laws.
Statewide, non-discrimination protections don’t exist. This means that LGBTQ people in Florida can be fired, kicked out of their homes and denied service at restaurants, hospitals, etc.
While the common reaction to news like this is to shrug our shoulders and accept that the Catholic church will never change, there’s more that can be done.
It’s not fair that a group of people, including the archdiocese and corrupt priests, get to ruin lives because of their ignorant beliefs. Their excuse may be that the Bible doesn’t accept homosexuality, but anyone with common sense can see right through that.
Yes, Leviticus 18:22 does tell us that “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” But the Bible also claims that trimming one’s beard, eating bacon and wearing torn clothes are all abominations, so where’s the outrage?
Why haven’t any teachers been fired for eating a baconator? Why do Catholic high schools like Belen Jesuit and Christopher Columbus force students to keep their beards trimmed?
It seems that the Catholic Church is picking and choosing which Bible verses suit their bigoted agenda.
Justin Klecha, the Deputy Director of Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, South Florida’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, believes that this incident only highlights the need for non-discrimination laws nationwide.
“Discrimination isn’t a thing of the past and folks are still being fired because of who they love,” Klecha said. He also mentioned that being so out of touch has cost the church the best and brightest teachers.
In addition to losing educators, the Catholic Church has lost members. In 2016, Catholics were only 16 percent of the population, according to a Public Religion Research Institute report. The majority of them left due to “a lack of belief in teachings of religion.”
In South Florida, acceptance rates for the LGBTQ community have gone up as well. Klecha claimed that in areas such as Hialeah and Miami Lakes, which hold a large Catholic population, about 70 percent of people approached by SAVE support non-discrimination laws.
If believers are able to overlook outdated Bible verses and evolve to include everyone, then the Church needs to do the same.
However, if they continue to ignore the love and acceptance they preach, then they’ll soon be left with no one else to fool.
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