Catholic school can get state money, fire for LGBTQ marriage

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A legal expert says a Catholic high school in Indiana can legally suspend a counselor for her same-sex marriage, despite receiving $6.5 million in public money over the last five years.

Roncalli High School is receiving criticism after announcing Sunday that Shelly Fitzgerald had been placed on administrative leave amid the discovery she’s married to a woman. Fitzgerald has worked at the school for 15 years and has been with her partner for 22 years.

Steve Sanders is a professor at Indiana University’s law school and specializes in constitutional law and LGBTQ issues. He tells the Indianapolis Star that Roncalli can legally receive public money through Indiana’s school voucher program while still being considered a religious institution regarding employment. Indiana also doesn’t have a statewide anti-discrimination law.

Fitzgerald has hired an attorney but not filed a lawsuit as of Tuesday.

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