Christa Dias, a gay Cincinnati Catholic school computer teacher who was fired after she became pregnant via artificial insemination, has won an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
As the Columbus Dispatch reports, Dias sued the archdiocese and two of its schools. Although the federal jury did not find the schools liable, they did rule that the archdiocese discriminated against Dias, and awarded the plaintiff more than $170,000.
According to the argument put forth by the plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Klingler, Dias was fired simply because she was pregnant and unmarried, a dismissal which violates federal and state law.
In contrast, archdiocese attorney Steven Goodin argued that Dias was fired for violating her contract. Goodin asserted that Dias signed the church’s contract requiring her to comply with the philosophies and teachings of the Catholic Church, which considers artificial insemination immoral and a violation of church doctrine.
A spokesman for the archdiocese, Dan Andiacco, said that it was always “a matter of principle” and about “an employee who broke a contract she signed.”
Dias, who is not Catholic, testified that she didn’t know artificial insemination violated church doctrine or her employment agreement. She said she thought the contract’s rules about abiding church teachings meant that she should be a Christian and follow the Bible. She also claimed that these church policies are not enforced equally against men and women.
Dias said in a telephone interview that she was “very happy and relieved” about the case. Although her attorney originally suggested damages as high as $637,000, Dias said she was satisfied with the outcome. According to Dias, “It was never about the money. They should have followed the law and they didn't."
Dias now lives in Atlanta with her partner and their 2-year-old daughter.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch