Did courage of young writer’s convictions come at a cost for her mom?

EAST DUMMERSTON — In this amazing essay by Annabelle Thies, a sixth grader at St. Michael's Catholic School, she explains clearly and strongly why she defends her gay and lesbian aunt and uncle. She loves them because God loves them. And nobody can tell her otherwise.

We support totally Annabelle's convictions towards the LGBT issue, and we praise her for defending her relatives.

We have lived in this area for nearly 50 years, teaching in local schools. We have been blessed with five children. Over the years, it has been an experience for us to learn and realize the challenges that some people impose on the LGBT community. We now take comfort in the wonderful example of Annabelle, as she states so emphatically: “no one can tell me that I cannot love them....”

However, there is a back story to this event, and it reminds us of the saying: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

It appears that Annabelle's mom, as a result of the essay, has resigned from her job in admissions and development at St. Michael's School. I must confess that we do not know the details of her departure, but we are aware of the “morality clause” that may have been behind her departure.

Teacher contracts require employees in Catholic schools to sign that they will uphold the moral code of Catholic practices and not advocate or support the LGBT principles. The church bases its claim on the premise of freedom of religion. In our opinion, this kind of requirement in the workplace is at least discriminatory, certainly unjust, and practically untenable.

Recently, the pastor of St. Michael's parish asked that we pray for and support our youth of today because they will be our leaders tomorrow. Well, if our future leaders advocate and stand for justice and love toward family and neighbors, as illustrated by Annabelle Thies, then surely our church and our community will be in good hands.


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