From the Springfield Republican:
The athletic director at Cathedral High School [Springfield, MA] lost her job this week, saying she was pressured to leave after marrying her female partner in August. Christine M. Judd, who served as athletic director and dean of students, said she is no longer an employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield school system after a meeting Wednesday with administrators of the Catholic high school.
The diocese says Judd resigned, but she tells the paper she is exploring her legal options. According to the article, Judd began her career at Cathedral 12 years ago as a science teacher, and rose to athletic director and then dean of students.
The church faces a relatively new reality in which same-sex couples can legally wed, and real-world situations are now facing church authorities who have to weigh various factors. Is talent alone enough to keep someone employed? Can bishops and priests preach against same-sex unions on Sunday and then reap the benefits of its gay and lesbians employees on Monday? What leads to a bigger public scandal, employing a married lesbian at a Catholic school or nonprofit, or firing her and being charged with cruel intolerance by the court of public opinion?
It would be easy to condemn one side or the other, especially when confronting a very emotional issue. But the reality is much more complex. However the church chooses to respond will hearten some and infuriate others. But it will be important for Catholics to remember that as same-sex marriage becomes more mainstream, decisions like the one made in the Judd situation will be looked at by many as intolerant and narrow-minded. This viewpoint won't be exclusive to the church's detractors, but increasingly, especially from the younger generations, from within its own ranks as well. Careers, emotional well-being, authority, legitimacy, and relevancy are all at stake. It will be important moving forward to consider very thoughtfully what the church's policies will be in cases such as this.