Everywhere you look these days it seems another case about discrimination finds its way to the highest courts and get global recognition. This was the case this week when a New Jersey appeals court decided to dismiss a lawsuit brought on by a woman who says she was fired by the Catholic school she worked because she married a woman. The combination of gay rights and the church made this case front page news across all of central New Jersey.
Fighting the Church
In recent years the church has been taking a beating in the press and in the court systems, and this appeared on the surface to be a slam dunk for the defendant who says she was fired solely based on the grounds that she was married to a woman and not a man. The Catholic school did not take this lying down, and fought hard to prove they were not terminating her contract based on those reasons alone. Once the Archdiocese of Newark got involved, they presented their case in a way that challenged the lower court ruling to would allow the case to proceed for determining whether or not state laws or church tenets would apply in this case. It appears that they go the benefit of the doubt as the case was later tossed this week.
The Details in the Story
When Kate Drumgoole was fired from Paramus Catholic High School, she went on the offense by bringing her claims to court to show that the school in fact violated discrimination laws set forth by the state. She worked as dean of guidance and was a respected coach of the high school basketball team. Drumgoole says her record speaks for itself, and that once the school became aware she was married to a woman, she was promptly terminated from her position with the school.
When the school was asked for comment, a representative of Paramus Catholic High School said that they did not base the decision solely on the fact that she was married to another woman, they were simply upholding a state law that says same-sex marriages in New Jersey are subject to the tenets of the church, for which they have the right to fully enforce.