Lynn Starkey has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Roncalli High School after she was fired for her same-sex marriage.
Starkey worked as a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School for nearly 40 years and said that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and discriminated against for her sexual orientation.
Starkey married her wife in 2015. She received a letter notifying her that her contract would not be renewed for the 2019-20 school year. The letter stated that her marriage violated her contract and was “contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.”
She claims that her principal, Chuck Weisenbach, knew about her sexual orientation long before it became a problem.
The lawsuit alleges that Starkey has “lost sleep, gained weight and suffers from anxiety,” because of what Roncalli and the archdiocese have done to her. She took a leave for a month in December and another month between April and May to receive medical and mental health treatment for the emotional distress she has endured.
The archdiocese released a statement that it has the right “to hire leaders who support the schools’ religious mission.”
“Catholic schools exist to communicate the Catholic faith to the next generation,” the archdiocese said. “To accomplish their mission, Catholic schools ask all teachers, administrators and guidance counselors to uphold the Catholic faith by word and action, both inside and outside the classroom.”
This isn’t the first time the school and archdiocese has received discrimination complaints. Shelly Fitzgerald was suspended from her job at the high school because she was married to a woman. Just like Roncalli, Fitzgerald filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and requested the right to sue.