A Catholic high school teacher who was fired because he’s in a same-sex marriage sued the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on Wednesday (July 10), accusing it of discrimination and interfering with his teaching contract.
Joshua Payne-Elliott is suing the archdiocese in Marion County court and seeking unspecified compensatory, emotional distress and other damages.
Payne-Elliott taught at Cathedral High School for 13 years and Cathedral renewed his annual teaching contract on May 21, his attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, said in a news release. But on June 23, Cathedral’s president told him he was being fired on the orders of the archdiocese.
Payne-Elliott also has filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming the archdiocese discriminated against him on the basis of his sexual orientation and retaliated against him for opposing sexual orientation discrimination, the news release said.
“We intend to hold the Archdiocese accountable for violations of state and federal law,” DeLaney said.
Payne-Elliott in 2017 married Layton Payne-Elliott, who teaches at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. The archdiocese ordered Brebeuf to fire Layton Payne-Elliot, but the school refused, DeLaney said. As a result, the archdiocese said it no longer recognizes Brebeuf as a Catholic institution, though Brebeuf still identifies itself as an independent Catholic school.
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Source: Religion News Service