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Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Lesbians' Firings Fuels Outrage

[MILFORD, CT] - Some Lauralton Hall alumna and parents say they are disappointed by the school's decision to force a lesbian couple from their jobs at the all-girls Catholic school.

"I am dismayed and outraged at this kind of action coming from a school that purports to represent and instill charity in young women," said Katie Rogers Krauss of Milford, a 1969 alumna whose daughter graduated in 1992.

Lauralton asked the lesbian couple to resign or be fired, after the couple passed out invitations to their commitment ceremony, sources said. The women are not being identified by the New Haven Register to protect their privacy. While nearly everyone connected to the school has remained silent about the well-liked couple's circumstances, some graduates and parents have started to come forward with opinions.

Krauss said she also sent an e-mail about the case to school President Karen Yardley, in which she complained about the school's handling of what she termed a "witch hunt." Yardley has not replied, Krauss said.

Lauralton Hall officials, including Yardley, could not be reached for comment Monday. The decision to force the couple out was an agonizing one for everyone involved, and was made only because church law demands that employees of Catholic institutions abide by the teachings of the church, sources said.

Other parents of current and former students also criticized the school's handling of the case. Will Duchon, whose daughter graduated from the school in 2000, said dismissing the women is an "outrage."

"This action exhibits the wide gap between the essence of Christianity and the narrow-minded hypocrisy of those in authority," said Duchon, 42, who is now studying at an interfaith seminary in New York City. "The Church of all places should be a refuge for those marginalized by society."

A commitment ceremony is a "very honorable" gesture and serves as a "good model" for students at a time when divorce is so prevalent, said Duchon. "It troubles me that the administration of Lauralton Hall feels so strongly that they can be the jury and judge in this matter," one parent, whose daughter attends the school, wrote in an e-mail message to the Register. The woman asked to remain anonymous, to protect her daughter.

Former student Megan Adams, a 1995 graduate, said that for her the case brought back unhappy memories of a time she was "chastised and singled out" for becoming pregnant during her senior year. "The school administration insisted that I quit so that I would not draw attention away from the respectability of the school," said Adams, who did not quit school and now works in an accounts department and is studying accounting at Sacred Heart University.

Adams described the school's actions in the recent case as "unbelievable" and "blatant discrimination." "It's strange, (school officials) are all of a sudden making an issue because they are having a ceremony," she said. "As long stay in the closet, they ignore you, but as soon as you make something public, it becomes a problem and you are treated as an outcast."

Related Stories:

July 2, 2002 - Letter to Editor: Gospels' Voice Marred

July 2, 2002 - Letter to Editor: Church "Laws" Clearly Enforced on Selective Basis

July 2, 2002 - Letter to Editor: Punishing Pair's Love Makes Alumna Ashamed

June 29, 2002 - Lawyers Don't Agree on Firing of Lesbians

June 28, 2002 - Lauralton Will Oust Two Lesbians

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