Catholic school teacher fired for being queer and in love. Parents refused to let her suffer alone

Queer teacher Maggie Barton

Parents have raised thousands for a teacher fired from a Catholic school for being in a same-sex relationship.

In January, Maggie Barton was informed that her employer, the Archdiocese of Denver, had seen a photo of her kissing another woman, the Denver Post reported. 

The principal of All Souls Catholic School, where Barton worked as a technology teacher and media specialist for six years, informed her that she would be placed on paid leaving pending the outcome of an investigation. Her employment was terminated the next day. 

The Archdiocese of Denver confirmed Barton was let go due to her same-sex relationship being a “violation” of her employment agreement.

Following the school’s decision, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up by All Souls parent Kathryn Weisbrod on behalf of Barton. 

The page’s description reads: “Maggie Barton was the tech teacher (and so much more) at All Souls Catholic and brightened the lives of hundreds of students over her six years teaching. 

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“This site was set up by a parent who knows so many want to show Ms. Barton support. 

“They want to help Maggie in some small way so that finances are not causing stress at this time in her life. We’re hoping to help bridge the gap till Ms. Barton finds the next step in her career.” 

Since its creation on 31 January, $25,220 (£20,750) has been raised from more than 230 donors. 

Supporters have flooded the fundraiser with donations and kind words. One person wrote: “The best lesson you can tech your kids is to be themselves, you are living your truth. My normal church donation is better spent on you.” 

Another said “From one queer Christian woman to another: you are beloved by our God just as you were made. You deserve better than your former employer, and so do your students. Hang in there.” 

The Archdiocese of Denver published an official statement on 3 February after Barton’s firing gained media attention. 

Children and adults receive the Rite of Confirmation at Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The Most Reverend Samuel J Aquila was named the archbishop for the Archdiocese of Denver in 2012.(Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It claimed that the reporting around the termination of employment was “not accurate”, citing that she was let go as she didn’t “honour the commitments she agreed to in her contract with the school”. 

These agreements, which each teacher is required to sign at the start of each school year, include “personally [exemplify] the characteristics of Catholic living,” which includes, “refraining from taking any public position or conducting himself or herself in a manner that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church”.

It summarised that she was let go due to her same-sex relationship “violating the standards she previously agreed to uphold”.

According to Colorado Public Radio, Barton came out as a queer women to her family and friends during her first year at St Edward’s University, in Austin. 

PinkNews has contacted All Souls Catholic School for comment.