Catholic archdiocese can require schools to fire same-sex married trainer, Indiana high court says

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis can fire parochial college academics in homosexual marriages or who in any other case don’t stay by church teachings, the state Supreme Court dominated unanimously on Wednesday.

Joshua Payne-Elliott, a social research and world language trainer who had labored for 13 years at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, sued the archdiocese after being fired for getting into a same-sex union. Mr. Payne-Elliott’s partner, Layton Payne-Elliott, works as a math trainer at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson ordered each schools to require their academics “uphold Church teaching” to retain their Catholic affiliation. Brebeuf Jesuit refused and was faraway from the archdiocese’s roster of schools, a transfer the Vatican later overruled.

Cathedral High fired Joshua Payne-Elliott, saying “the Archbishop directed that we can’t have someone with a public same-sex marriage here and remain Catholic.”

Mr. Payne-Elliott sued, and the archdiocese mentioned it was protected due to “church autonomy” or the suitable of a non secular group to set the ecclesiastical phrases below which it operates. 

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter, writing for the unanimous panel, mentioned  the “Constitution encompasses the right of religious institutions to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government.”

Luke Goodrich, a vp and senior counsel on the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the archdiocese, mentioned in a press release: “Courts can’t decide what it means to be Catholic — only the Church can do that. By keeping the judiciary out of religious identity, the Indiana Supreme Court just protected all religious institutions to be free from government interference in deciding their core religious values.”

Kathleen DeLaney, a lawyer who represented Mr. Payne-Elliott within the case, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from The Washington Times.

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