San Francisco Archbishop's New Proposed Teacher Contract Calls Gays "Gravely Evil"

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Despite working in one of the most liberal, queer cities in America, conservative Catholic archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone's new teacher contract for schools includes troubling morality clauses and discriminatory language against LGBT people. In a new faculty handbook for Catholic high school faculty and staff, Cordileone called extramarital sex, homosexuality, porn, and masturbation "gravely evil," the Chron reports. 

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The proposed contract would apply to four Bay Area Catholic high schools: Riordan and Sacred Heart in San Francisco, Marin Catholic in Kentfield, and Serra High School in San Mateo. Educators at East Bay Catholic schools would also be required to “demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church” as part of a new contract. It's not clear if teachers would be punished for not adhering to the new clauses.

As the HRC pointed out in a statement, archbishop Cordileone has "long been known for his combative language against LGBT people, characterizing same-sex attraction as 'self-destructive,' speaking out against employment protections, and calling marriage equality 'harmful to individuals and society as a whole.'" Last year, he led thousands of anti-gay-marriage protestors to the US Supreme Court building to pray away the gay. Other examples of his crusade against LGBT people can be read in the Express cover story "The Father of Proposition 8."

"Our faith is one that teaches us to love and respect one another, not to judge and dismiss. When institutional leaders attempt to define a person's faithfulness by prying into their personal life, they deny the beauty of our faith and the dignity of the people of God,” said Jim FitzGerald, Executive Director of Call To Action USA.

A spokesman for the diocese, Chris Lyford, told the Chron that the document isn’t anything new: “This is just a clarification of what’s been there for years.” Still, it's very troubling to think what might happen to educators who didn't "affirm and believe" that queer people are "evil," as the contract stipulates. 

Cordileone is expected to make a formal announcement on the new faculty handbook language Friday, February 6. In the meantime, those who want to see the discriminatory clauses removed from the contract have created a Groundswell petition, and are tweeting with the hashtag #TeachAcceptance.

“We beseech Archbishop Cordileone not to isolate the Church from the teachings of Christ, but to have the audacity and courage encouraged by Pope Francis to keep its doors open and find new roads ahead that will lead to embracing faithful people - no matter who they are, who they love, or who they support and celebrate,” said HRC’s Melendez Rivera. “Don’t throw people away.”

Follow @annapulley on Twitter. 

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