So, Lauren Brown is a Lesbian … and a teacher. And she recently applied for a teaching position at St. Mary’s Catholic prep school in Portland, Oregon, and thought it would be the best job ever.
“I honestly visualized my entire life there during my interview.”
Of course, then she told the school officials — who had said they were “so excited that [she] will be a part of this legacy” — that she was gay, and she asked what might happen if she ever married, a woman, presumably. That’s when she was asked to come in for a second meeting and the school rescinded their offer of employment, gave her a severance package of one year’s salary and told her to get lost … oh, and to keep silent on the matter.
The letter also asked that Brown agree not to sue and to not “disclose such terms” to anyone except family members, attorneys, and accountants and then composed this Facebook message for her own page with a little heart emoji included, saying she would not be teaching at St. Mary’s:
“Friends, I want to let you all know that I will no longer be at St. Mary’s in the fall. Please message me if you know of any jobs available ♥."
Of course, as Catholics are apt to do, the school explained that because she said that she might one day, some day, marry, she would be in conflict with the hateful teachings of the Church — though not of Jesus or God who never had a complaint about same-sex marriage — and she had to go, and go in silence.
Sadly, Lauren Brown was not going quietly.
“To sign a contract that’s going to affect the rest of my life, and my passion for advocating for LGBT youth and LGBT people — there’s no way I could sign that. I could never live with myself."
And the news traveled far and fast. Students and alumni got wind of the decision and began protesting the decision to deny Lauren Brown a teaching job and then a weird thing happened: school officials switched their position, and announced via Facebook that they had voted unanimously to alter the school’s hiring policies to allow for LGBT employees:
“Effective immediately, St. Mary’s has added sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity policy. St. Mary’s is a diverse community that welcomes and includes gay and lesbian students, faculty, alumnae, parents and friends, including those that are married.”
But, Lauren brown isn’t angry; in fact, she’s overjoyed:
"The students, parents, and alumni of St. Mary’s Academy should be so proud today. This success shows that together we really can move mountains."
And the students, parents and alumni of St. Mary’s should also be grateful that Lauren Brown was not going to take that severance package and simply walk away, Speaking up for herself, and speaking out for herself, she changed that school, that Catholic school, and while she may not ever teach there, she will be remembered every single time an LGBT applicant settles down for an interview at St. Mary’s.