An Indiana trial court has dismissed the lawsuit of a gay teacher who says he was fired from a Catholic high school because of his same-sex marriage.
Joshua Payne-Elliott had worked as a world language and social studies teacher at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis since 2006 when he was fired in June 2019.
He is married to Layton Payne-Elliott, a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. They married in 2017. The couple have been at the center of a fight between their schools and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, which directed the schools to fire both men.
Brebeuf refused to fire Layton Payne-Elliott, so the archdiocese attempted to strip the school of its Catholic status, though the school appealed that decision and is still awaiting a final ruling. Cathedral fired Joshua Payne-Elliott to avoid the same fate.
Payne-Elliott is one of three former employees who say they’ve been fired from Indianapolis-area Catholic high schools because of their same-sex marriages.
Shelly Fitzgerald was the first, suspended from her job as a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School in 2018 and later fired. Lynn Starkey, who worked in the Roncalli guidance office with Fitzgerald, was also fired because of her same-sex marriage.
Both women have also sued the archdiocese. Their cases, filed in federal court, are pending.
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SOURCE: South Bend Tribune; Indianapolis Star, Arika Herron