Tags: Religion | iowa | gays | terry branstad | catholic schools | Tyler McCubbin

Iowa Gov. Branstad: Catholic School Can Deny Job to Gay Teacher

Image: Iowa Gov. Branstad: Catholic School Can Deny Job to Gay Teacher
Gov. Terry Brandstad, R-Iowa. (Brian Frank/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 06:48 AM

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he does not support changing a state law to require Catholic schools to hire an openly gay teacher.

According to the Des Moines Register, Branstad said he fully supports treating gay people with "respect and dignity," but he draws the line at getting involved with changing laws as they relate to schools of faith and houses of worship.

Branstad's comments came after a substitute teacher and volunteer coach at Dowling Catholic High School was denied a full-time job at the institution when it was revealed on social media that he was gay.

Tyler McCubbin, 26, received an outpouring of support after the school said it would not hire him because of his religious beliefs, support that included a walkout by more than 150 students, alumni and others last week. A Facebook page created to support him has more than 2,000 members.

Branstad, however, felt religious schools and churches should have a set of hiring practices that aligns with their faith.

"My heart goes out to both the individual involved and to the school," Branstad said, reports the Register. "These are difficult matters, and I do think everybody should be treated with respect and dignity. But I also understand why churches and religious-affiliated schools feel that they should be able to have hiring practices that fit with the tenets of their faith."

When the governor was asked again about the issue, he said, "as I said, I support treating everybody with respect and dignity, but I also believe religious institutions should not be asked to violate their conscience."

In the Catholic faith, marriage is between a man and a woman. Some students and alumni at Dowling, according to the Register, support same-sex marriage. Others side with the school and are against the practice.

The issue of same-sex marriage has caused a rift in the nation, with both sides planting their feet firmly in the sand and refusing to budge. As it stands, 37 states plus the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

Last week, retired neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he wants to see more of a focus on Christians and their rights, while keeping homosexuality a "personal issue."

"It seems to be a topic — a person's sexual orientation — that is of fair amount of concern to you," Carson told CNN "New Day" host Chris Cuomo. "I don't find it to be anywhere near as interesting. I think it's a personal issue and we ought to leave it as a personal issue."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another potential GOP presidential candidate, also weighed in on the issue of same-sex marriage last week. He said the country must steer clear of "creating special rights" for gays, while at the same time saying he supports a society that does not discriminate.

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he does not support changing a state law to require Catholic schools to hire an openly gay teacher.
iowa, gays, terry branstad, catholic schools, Tyler McCubbin
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2015-48-14
Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 06:48 AM
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