Benedictine University fires an employee for announcing her wedding
November 11, 2010
By Cameron Tolle, Freedom to Marry's Online Organizer
Your wedding day isn’t something that you’re usually quiet about. Whether you’re sending out invitations, showing off your engagement pics, or picking out items for your gift registry, your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience that you want to share with your friends, family, and community. But for Laine Tadlock, sharing this beautiful moment in her life ultimately put her job at risk.
Laine, who was the director of the education program at Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois, was by no means closeted at work. Before accepting her position at Benedictine, a Catholic institution, Laine openly discussed the fact that she is a lesbian with her employer. And when Laine and her partner Kae decided to marry in Iowa, she didn’t hide that from her employer either.
Once Laine and Kae’s wedding announcement was published in the local newspaper, however, it wasn’t long until Laine was out of a job. And it certainly wasn’t for lack of skill or poor job performance. In a letter to Laine’s attorney, Benedictine President William Carroll makes it pretty clear why Laine was no longer employed by the university: “By publishing the marriage ceremony in which she participated in Iowa she has significantly disregarded and flouted core religious beliefs which, as a Catholic institution, it is our mission to uphold”
Mr. Carroll fails to realize that Laine and Kae weren’t engaging in some counter-culture act of anti-Catholicism. They merely entered in an institution that, following the Iowa Supreme Court ruling in 2009, is equally available to all couples, gay or straight.
Punishing an employee for committing herself in marriage to her partner is a needless and painful travesty—one that is undoubtedly legitimized by government sanctioned discrimination against gay and lesbian families.
We hope that Benedictine University, as well as state and federal government will act in accordance with the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. And Freedom to Marry will continue to fight until couples like Laine and Kae are free from the undeniable repercussions of marriage discrimination.
Want to take action? Then add your voice to the hundreds of people who have already signed a petition over at Change.org telling Benedictine University that Laine shouldn't be fired over a wedding announcement.