Monday, February 22, 2016

Lesbian food service coordinator settles with KC Diocese

Colleen (left) and Rev. Donna Simon
Colleen (left) and Rev. Donna Simon
Photo credit: Kansas City Star
Colleen Simon claimed that in 2013 she was terminated from her job as a food pantry coordinator at St. Francis Xavier Church in Kansas City, MO when it became known that she was in a same-sex marriage to a Protestant minister. According to Simon, the priest who interviewed her knew that she was married. A new priest did not, which led to her firing. That suit has now been settled  for an undisclosed sum.

The diocese was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom which attempted to characterize this as a win. The simple fact is that the diocese could not risk a jury hearing this case.

These cases are unnecessary and avoidable. Clearly a food service coordinator is not a minister and has no ministerial responsibilities. These controversies stem from the Church's unrelenting determination to impose its teachings on everyone else. Most of these matters seem to involve either a change in personnel (as in this case) or the the ham-handed bishops becoming aware of something that local personnel already knew. By now the Church should accept what corporate America understands. If you want the best employees you have to include LGBT people in your hiring.

The Church lost a good employee; someone who is committed to serving the needy. Ms. Simon is currently employed at Journey to New Life, a nonprofit organization that assists former prisoners transitioning after incarceration.

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