Iowa Catholic School Approves Gay Club

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  •  April 28, 2015   

Two weeks after refusing to hire a gay teacher, an Iowa Catholic school has approved a gay-straight alliance

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Two weeks after refusing to hire a gay teacher, an Iowa Catholic school has approved a gay-straight alliance.

Dowling Catholic High in West Des Moines came under fire recently for refusing to hire a teacher full-time because he plans on contracting a same-sex “marriage.” Tyler McCubbin, a substitute teacher and volunteer track coach since 2014, was initially offered full-time employment, but the offer was rescinded once the school discovered McCubbin intended to civilly marry his male partner.

Students staged a walk-out in protest. In response, Bishop Richard Pates of the diocese of Des Moines stated, “[T]he Church teaches based on natural law, Scripture and the Church's 2,000-year tradition that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman. The Catholic faith is central to our mission as a Catholic school and is an exercise of religious liberty. To deliver on that mission, it is our expectation that staff and teachers support our moral beliefs as they are the models of our Catholic faith.”

The next day, students submitted a request for a gay-straight alliance at school. Although Dowling High is not backing down on its decision not to hire McCubbin, it approved the gay club Friday.

The club will be called “One Human Family,” and is meant to be a “safe place” for gay and transgender students to talk about about their problems. The school has reportedly not imposed any restrictions on the club, and students have contacted the Iowa Pride Network for advice on how to proceed.


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