Thursday, August 01, 2013

Ken Bencomo Wasn't Fired For Being Gay, He Was Fired For Being Married

Ken Bencomo and Christopher Persky
Out in San Bernardino, California, Ken Bencomo was a high school teacher at St. Lucy’s Priory High School, an all-girl Catholic school.

I say ‘was’ because Bencomo was fired this week for getting married; to a man.

Ken Bencomo and Christopher Persky were one of the first same-sex couples to get married in San Bernardino after the fall of Prop H8, and the local paper published their marriage announcement. But, less than two weeks later, Bencomo says he was fired.

Patrick McGarrigle, Bencomo’s attorney, said the school didn’t fire Bencomo for being gay, they fired him for getting ‘gay’ married: “Their reasoning was that he had gotten married and it was in the papers. The school’s position was that it violated its teachings.”

School administrators declined to discuss the firing, but, of course, issued a statement that read, in part: 
“We respect and protect privacy interests and, to be respectful of those involved, the school does not comment on confidential matters. St. Lucy’s wishes to reassure all in our community that upholding its mission to educate students in the tradition of the Catholic faith is of paramount importance.”
Respect the privacy of others, unless you get ‘gay’ married.

Ken Bencomo had been teaching at St. Lucy’s for 17 years; he was head of the English department and coached the dance squad. He was openly gay, and the school knew that--in fact, school officials had met Bencomo's partner Christopher several times--and had no problem renewing Bencomo’s contract every year for seventeen years until Bencomo got married; something he’s legally entitled to do.

Ken Bencomo hopes to resolve the situation without going to court; all he wants to do is keep doing the job he’s been doing for seventeen years, a job the ALLEGED good folks at St. Lucy’s felt he’s always done until he got ‘gay’ married.

Sidenote, Part One: I know, I know, he broke one of the tenets of the Catholic Church which, as Pope Frankie says, should not judge The Gays for being gay, but can judge The Gays for marrying one another. If only Ken Bencomo had not fallen in love, had not struggled to have the same kind of life as everyone else, had not been legally allowed the right of marriage.
He’d still have his job.

Sidenote, Part Two: I, personally, loathe the term ‘gay marriage’ but used it here as a point of sarcasm, because Ken Bencomo didn’t get ‘gay’ married, he simply got married.

Go HERE to sign a petition asking that Ken Bencomo get his job back.


the dogs' mother said...

oh, what a tricksy web we weave...

mrs.missalaineus said...

i have to say, stuff like this makes me ashamed of what i was willing to do to teach in the archdiocese again. no matter how much better teaching there was, the underlying message was not of tolerance or love. that, even after the pope's pronouncement, will take longer to change then i have left in this life, if it even ever changes.

thanks for always being there to set me back to reality.


viktor kerney said...


Vanessa Galvan said...

This is complete stupidity. I cannot believe this is happening. I am so enraged it is not even possible for me to be this upset. I knew this man and he was a remarkable man that actually helped MY dance team even though he remained faithful to St. Lucy. All he wants is his job. How dare St. Lucy.

Anonymous said...

How dare they what???? Uphold what they believe in. Sorry, he signed a contract and knew EXACTLY what was going to happen and should have happened. He was NOT fired, his contract was not renewed and it should not have been. If I had a child in that school and he was not removed, my child would be removed. That is why there are religious schools. Don't like it, go teach in the public system where anything goes and my kids would NEVER attend!!!

Bob Slatten said...

Hey Anonymous,
Thanks for spreading the homophobia masked as religious intolerance, but guess what?

The school knew he was gay for seventeen years and that was fine.

The school knew he was in a committed relationship and that was fine.

But, when he got married suddenly the school was not fine; they were hypocrites.

And if you don't want gay folks around your kids, build a wall around your house.

Matthew Vincent said...

It's not homophobia - the Catholic Church does not condemn gays or gay relationships. It opposes same-sex marriage. The Church and Church-related organizations have standards the followers are supposed to follow. If someone does not meet those standards or requirements, they jeopardize their job.