A petition and fundraiser have been created to help ousted LGBT teachers Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, who were forced to “voluntarily resign” from Burien’s Kennedy Catholic High School on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, because they both identify as gay, according to multiple sources.

As we first reported, both were reportedly asked to resign not simply for identifying as gay, but also for being engaged to marry their same sex partners.

Despite a 2006 state law that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, the school is apparently exempt due to its religious affiliation. Kennedy is deferring this policy decision to the Archdiocese of Seattle, of which it is a member.

The petition – created by Kelly Walsh Holler – will be submitted to the Archdiocese of Seattle, with the goals of:

  1. Re-hire the two teachers who resigned;
  2. Issue a public apology for the harm caused to the teachers and community by requesting the teachers’ resignations;
  3. Modify its policy to ensure that no teacher is fired or asked to resign on the sole basis that the person is engaged in a consensual committed relationship with a same-sex partner.

READ AND SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Despite a 2006 state law that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, the school is apparently exempt due to its religious affiliation. Kennedy is deferring this policy decision to the Archdiocese of Seattle, of which it is a member.

ONLINE FUNDRAISER STARTED
A GoFundMe page has also been created by Jen Haas and Sean Nyberg to help these two teachers:

“Two beloved and extraordinary teachers at Kennedy Catholic High School “voluntarily resigned” on February 13, 2020 because of their sexual orientation and desire to live authentically (and legally) married to their partners.

“In addition to the sadness felt by their community of supporters, Paul and Michelle are both now without jobs or incomes. In the middle of a school year it will be difficult for either of them to find employment immediately.

“No doubt these two will find positions for the 2020-2021 school year, but until then, anything we can do to help ease their financial burden as they face several months without a paycheck will be helpful.

“Paul’s fiance, Sean Nyberg, will be the beneficiary of the funds and will ensure that Michelle and Paul receive whatever we donate.

“Thank you for supporting these two wonderful people.”

“A useful way to channel your anger is to do something positive like consider a donation to support the teachers,” King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove said. “Even a small donation is a way to show them you support them and have their backs.”

DONATE ONLINE HERE