Margie Winters isn’t even sure she’d want her job back at Waldron Mercy Academy but she wants everyone to know why she doesn’t work there anymore.
Winters was fired last month as the Catholic school’s director of religious education because she is married to a woman. She’s been married since 2007 and had worked at the school in Merion, Pennsylvania, for eight years.
It all happened because a parent complained directly to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which has spoken out in favor of the firing.
‘There was never a conflict with my job,’ Winters tells CNN. ‘The conflict is with the understanding of the teachings of the Church. For me it’s a conflict of vision of who we are as Church. … The marriage issue goes to who I am as a person, and who God made me as.’
Winters is not speaking out to win her job back and does not plan to sue the school. Instead, she wants to raise awareness of the discrimination going on in the Catholic Church.
Her wife Andrea says in the CNN interview: ‘When Christ walked the earth, he railed against the hierarchy for trying to exclude people, by using the laws of the faith at that time to exclude people. If that’s not happening now, I don’t know what else this is.
Winters had been upfront with school administrators at the time of her hiring and was advised to keep a low profile which she says she did.
There has been community outrage over her firing plenty of support for the couple. A Stand With Margie Facebook page has been created and has more than 11,000 ‘Likes’ and a Go Fund Me page for Winters has raised more than $16,000.
The funds will go directly to Winters for her to cover any costs involved with the loss of her job.
‘I think people are just in disbelief,’ Winters says. ‘In particular, I think it just goes against who they are. This community has claimed mercy and openness and trust and hospitality. They’re struggling with the tension between this decision and who we are.’