Daycare Workers Unfairly Fired From Christian Preschool for Being Gay

Two female preschool teachers were recently fired from a church-run daycare facility because it was found out that they were in a romantic relationship together. Jaclyn Pfeiffer and Kelly Bardier were allegedly dismissed from their jobs at Aloma Methodist Early Childhood Learning Center in Orange County, Florida for being gay, and are now threatening to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.


As they should.

Before I go any further, let me state for the record that I believe that religious organizations should be able to maintain their own codes of ethics, and if an active homosexual lifestyle doesn't fit in with it, sure, go ahead and fire them. Not really sure why they'd want to work there anyway, but sometimes people are weird.

But let's talk about this case in particular. Pfeiffer says she was fired after the school's director, Barbara Twachtman, asked her if she was in a relationship with Bardier. They were both dismissed when she relied in the affirmative.

"I said, 'Can I get fired for this?' She said, 'Yes,' and I was surprised," Pfeiffer stated. 

School defenders of course cite the First Amendment and the freedom of religion, which I would normally be all over. If your religion believes homosexuality is a sin, then of course you shouldn't be forced to employ homosexuals.

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The attorney for Pfeiffer and Bardier argues that their firing violates Orange County's Human Rights Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination against gays, but it's so much simpler than that.

The Methodist church has been largely accepting of the gay community, even officially granting spousal benefits to same-sex spouses of gay employees just last year. Gay marriage is legal in Florida. So basically, if only one of these women worked at the school, and they were legally wed, they'd both have the same benefits provided to heterosexual marriages. Instead, they got fired. If they got fired for having a sexual relationship outside of marriage, then fine, but this seems to be specifically about the gay thing.

A resolution passed in 2008 by the United Methodist Church opposed "all forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice or sexual orientation."

Gay couple are still not technically allowed to marry in Methodist churches, but that fact that they recognize those unions, and even provide benefits to same-sex spouses, and condemn discrimination based on sexual orientation seems to be a clear indication that they don't have many religious issues with LGBT community.

In fact, this couple chose to attend a Methodist church because they're so open and accepting of gays and lesbians. Bardier said, "The main reason I've been going to Methodist churches is they are very open and loving of everyone regardless of who you are."

This isn't necessarily a First Amendment issue, it's about an organization firing two women for being gay, after they have gone out of their way to express that homosexuality shouldn't be discriminated against.

They can't have their cake and eat it too.

Do you think the Methodist Church should have fired these women for being gay?


Image via Brian Talbot/Flickr

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