LGBT+ instructor alleges he was fired by New York college ‘for not living a Catholic lifestyle’ | EUROtoday

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Parents at a Long Island Catholic college have rallied behind an LGBT+ instructor who says he was fired from his job for not dwelling a “Catholic lifestyle”.

Michael Califano, who teaches third grade at Maria Regina Catholic School in Seaford, New York, advised native media that he was dismissed on Wednesday after somebody despatched photos of him together with his boyfriend to the church authorities.

But on Friday greater than 100 mother and father, college students, and school members rallied outdoors St Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre calling for Mr Califano to be reinstated, whereas greater than 5,000 individuals signed a petition to that impact.

The petition’s creator Karen Greenwood described him as “an immensely beloved, committed and diligent educator” who had been “unjustly dismissed” because of his sexuality.

She additional claimed that the college directors had identified Mr Califano was homosexual after they employed him, and that the choice to sack him was made towards their needs by the native Catholic diocese.

“Michael is the epitome of someone who should be praised as a role model of the Catholic faith,” wrote Ms Greenwood. “Despite all of the adversity and tragedy he has faced in his life, his dedication to the church, his faith, and the school has never wavered, and he still attends mass every week.”

In response to questions from The Independenta spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre mentioned: “For privacy reasons, we do not comment publicly on personnel matters, but we can say that the school did not end Mr Califano’s employment over his sexuality.”

The college’s principal Matthew Scannapieco additionally declined to remark, referring all inquiries to the diocese. As of Friday, the college’s web site nonetheless listed Mr Califano as a instructor.

Mr Califano himself didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark however advised News 12 Long Island that he didn’t imagine he had damaged any of the college’s pointers.

Mr Califano is well-known in his space because the son of Michael J Califano, a Nassau County police officer who was killed on obligation when a flatbed truck ploughed into his automotive at excessive pace throughout a visitors cease in 2011.

Having attended Maria Regina himself as a toddler, Mr Califano now helps organise an annual memorial breakfast and raffle that funds scholarships for poor college students, in keeping with his Facebook profile.

Mr Califano advised News 12 that his hassle started when images of him and his boyfriend taken from social media have been despatched to the diocese, and issues “escalated” from there.

Ms Greenwood mentioned that the images have been “not inappropriate by any means” and had been taken from his boyfriend’s social media account since Mr Califano’s had been set to personal on the request of the diocese.

By Friday the Nassau County Police Benefit Association had joined within the calls to reinstate Mr Califano, together with about 1,000 individuals who joined a Facebook group in assist of him.

“Long before my son even was born or attended this school, I attended the annual pancake breakfast for their fallen father,” mentioned one native dad or mum on TikTok, who mentioned he labored as a police officer.

“I developed a relationship with the family, and [that] was one of the main reasons that I decided to send my son to this school. Unfortunately, I will have to remove him from the school if this situation is not rectified with the bishop.”

He added that the college was to not blame and had “tried to save [Mr Califano’s] job”.

The Catholic Church has softened its stance on homosexuality lately. It nonetheless formally manufacturers intercourse between two males or two ladies as a sin, and strongly opposes homosexual marriage.

But its present chief Pope Francis has supported visitation and inheritance rights for homosexual civil companions, criticised legal guidelines that criminalise homosexual intercourse, and accredited Catholic blessings for same-sex {couples} so long as they don’t resemble marriage rites.