Aug 04, 2016
By Peter Friedmann

The firing of Bishop Watterson physical education teacher Carla Hale is garnering national news. Hale is a lesbian who is in a committed relationship with another woman, Julie, and kept that relationship private from her colleagues and students at Watterson. Recently, Carla’s mother passed away and in her obituary, Carla named her long time partner as one of her mother’s survivors. One particularly zealous mother of a Watterson student saw the obituary and wrote a letter to the school, outraged that a lesbian was allowed to teach at a Catholic school. Carla was fired a week later.

Although it has been nearly a month since Hale was fired, a group of Watterson alumni, naming themselves “Halestorm”, have rallied around Hale and offered her continuous support in her fight to get her job back. Carla is also being represented by Thomas Tootle, a Columbus attorney. The City of Columbus has an anti-discrimination ordinance, which criminalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Aside from this ordinance, is there protection for Carla under the law? This article by Columbus-based employment attorney Greg Mansell, of Mansell Law LLC, sheds some light on that very issue.

This should be an interesting case to watch.  Downtown’s Short North is home to many of the city’s trendiest and lively gay bars. Not to mention, Columbus hosts the Ohio Pride Festival each year, which draws thousands of visitors to the city.