Pro-gay marriage Catholic teacher loses job over beliefs

New Zealand teacher lost his job after disagreeing with the religious principal who opposes gay marriage

Pro-gay marriage Catholic teacher loses job over beliefs
20 September 2012

A teacher at a New Zealand Catholic college has lost his job over his belief gay people should be able to get married.

Nigel Studdart, a science teacher, was formally dismissed from his teaching position after a meeting with the school’s Board of Trustees yesterday (19 September), the New Zealand Herald reports.

After Pomepellier College principal Richard Stanton laid out his objections to gay marriage in the school newsletter last month, Studdart requested he withdraw the comments.

The teacher then supported a Facebook group who opposed the principal’s views, who were later forced to take it down.

He said: ‘It is the outcome I was expecting.

‘I went into the meeting with plenty of documentation and a well-prepared argument but it was obviously a foregone conclusion.’

The Board of Trustees issued a statement, which said: ‘The Pompallier Catholic College BOT advises the school community that Nigel Studdart will not be returning to the College as a teacher.

‘We wish him well for the future.’

Studdart says the BOT’s issue was encouraging students to wear a rainbow wristband to support the rights of the gay community, breaching the school uniform policy.

In the newsletter, the principal Richard Stanton said he had a ‘religious objection’ to marriage, and said if gay marriage was legalized polygamy was sure to follow.

He also feared same-sex couples will argue for their right to have children.

Studdart told news show Close Up he has no issue with the principal’s stance on gay marriage.

He said: ‘I fully understand it’s a Catholic school. It wouldn’t be my opinion, but he’s entitled to his.’

‘My real problem with it, separate from the students’ issue really, is where he contended to his words that somehow gay parents would be lesser parents.

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