US: Catholic school teacher sacked for marrying her girlfriend 45 minutes after the ceremony

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A lesbian Catholic school teacher in the US state of Arkansas has said she was told she could not return to work just 45 minutes after getting married to her girlfriend.

Tippi McCullough and Barb Mariani travelled from Arkansas to New Mexico, in order to marry last week, but McCullough said she received a phone call from the reception at Mount St Mary Academy just 45 minutes after the ceremony, and was told she could not return to work because

The pair had left for the Grand Canyon for their honeymoon, when McCullough returned the missed calls to Diane Wolfe, the school’s principal, who said that, because she had violated her contract which requires her to adhere to Catholic teaching, she could not return to work.

She was offered an excellent reference, and the chance to resign, rather than being sacked from the post she had held for fifteen years, but that she could not return to the school.

She said: “They hire people who aren’t Catholic, with a lot of different belief systems. What’s upsetting to me is that the morality clause covers birth control, premarital sex and they are certainly not pro-choice. It’s disturbing to me that no straight teacher is called in and asked if she’s using birth control or unmarried and having premarital sex with a boyfriend.”

The story has received media attention after the Human Rights Campaign drew attention to it. Many have written to Wolfe in an attempt to have her change her mind.