Cathedral High School teacher fired for same-sex marriage files lawsuit against Archdiocese of Indianapolis


Joshua Payne-Elliot

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A teacher fired by Cathedral High School filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for teacher Joshua Payne-Elliot claim the Archdiocese interfered with his job at Cathedral. The lawsuit says the teacher signed a contract in May, just days before the Archdiocese mandate language was added.

They’re arguing the move by the Archdiocese was discriminatory because the “morality clause” wasn’t a part of his contract when he signed it. He was terminated on June 23.

Payne-Elliot also filed discrimination charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Last month, the Archdiocese threatened to revoke Cathedral’s status as a Catholic school unless it parted ways with the teacher.

The Archdiocese issued this statement:

“In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Catholic schools, all teachers, school leaders and guidance counselors are ministers and witnesses of the faith, who are expected to uphold the teachings of the Church in their daily lives, both in and out of school. Religious liberty, which is a hallmark of the U.S. Constitution and has been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court, acknowledges that religious organizations may define what conduct is not acceptable and contrary to the teachings of its religion, for its school leaders, guidance counselors, teachers and other ministers of the faith.”

“We intend to hold the Archdiocese accountable for violations of state and federal law,” said  Payne-Elliot’s attorney Kathleen DeLaney.

Payne-Elliot said he hopes this case will “put a stop to the targeting of LGBTQ employees and their families.”

Cathedral settled their own lawsuit with Payne-Elliot on Tuesday. The details of that settlement weren’t released.

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