Roncalli High School tells counselor her same-sex marriage is a "breach," will not renew contract

Posted: 12:16 PM, Mar 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-25 17:07:21-04
Lynn Starkey.JPG

INDIANAPOLIS — The attorney for Lynn Starkey says the guidance counselor is losing her job because of her same-sex marriage.

Starkey is currently the Co-Director of Guidance at Roncalli High School.

Starkey's attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, says the school notified her this month that her marriage was a "breach" and they would not be renewing her contract for the 2019-2020 school year. Instead, they will be terminating her employment at the end of the spring 2019 semester.

READ |Second Roncalli counselor claims she is discrimated against for same-sex marriage

"Starkey's thirty-nine years of exemplary employment, including Teacher of the Year recognition in 2009, will end because she is in a same-sex marriage and because she filed discrimination complaints on November 16, 2018," DeLaney said in a press release issued Monday.

Starkey had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in November alleging "discrimination and hostile work environment based on sex and sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," after the school suspended another counselor, Shelly Fitzgerald.

READ | Roncalli guidance counselor says she was asked to resign over same-sex marriage | Parents demand change and show support for Roncalli counselor

Starkey's lawyer has since amended their EEOC complaint to include the latest information.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis released the following statement:

Contracts for school ministerial positions are one (1) year contracts. The contract specifically states: “This contract is not automatically renewable. The School Guidance Counselor has no right to, or the promise of a contract exceeding the school year.” Ms. Starkey is currently in breach of her contract with Roncalli High School, because she is in a civil union that is considered “contrary to a valid marriage as seen through the eyes of the Catholic Church.” The 2019-2020 contract language will contain the same language. Therefore, Ms. Starkey could not in good faith enter into the contract so long as she is unable to abide by the terms of the contract.