Catholic School Fires Gay Teacher After He Married His Partner

Christopher-Persky-Ken-BencomoA teacher at an all-girls Catholic school in Glendora, California claims he was fired after news of his wedding to his partner appeared in the local paper.

Rancho Cucamonga resident Ken Bencomo had been a teacher at St. Lucy’s Priory High School for 17 years, where he had become head of the English department, coached the dance squad and oversaw the yearbook.

Though a former student says Bencomo never spoke of his personal life to his students, they knew he was gay, while staff had previously been introduced to his partner, Christopher  Persky.

Bencomo and Persky, 32, were one of the first gay couples married in San Bernadino County on July 1, following the Supreme Court’s decision to rule Prop 8 unconstitutional. News of their nuptials broke on July 2 in the Daily Bulletin, prompting St. Lucy’s to dismiss Bencomo.

“The reason given was that the marriage occurred and the school’s position was that it violated church teachings,” Bencomo’s attorney Patrick McGarrigle told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

According to Diocese of San Bernadino spokesman John Andrews, had Bencomo not appeared in the paper he might still have his job. The Diocese prohibits discrimination against teachers and other employees based on their “lifestyle choices” but if they make “a public display of behavior that is counter to church teaching – such as homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, having a child outside of marriage,” Andrews said, “that can impact their employment status.”

St. Lucy’s issued a statement after dismissing Bencomo reassuring the community that “upholding its mission to educate students in the tradition of the Catholic faith is of paramount importance.”

Catholic schools have a record of job discrimination based on religious principles, with teachers being fired or urged to resign for revealing same-sex relationships, accidentally being outed, for being transgender or even speaking out in support of gay marriage.

A petition urging St. Lucy’s to give Bencomo his job back has so far garnered over 8,000 signatures, though Bencomo hopes to resolve the issue without legal action.

Photo: The Raw Story

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  • 2eo

    The catholic school are upset this man has sex with an adult while the rest are [email protected] children.

  • d4divine

    @2eo: Thank You!

  • Polaro

    And they get to be a tax-free charitable organization why?

  • Spike

    The Catholic Church or the Catholic Taliban?

  • oilburner

    He shouldn’t be surprised the Catholics fired him they hate gays more than they do pedophiles

  • murphy0071

    @oilburner: Then they must really hate heterosexuals. Whether the object is male or female heterosexuals are the molesters in virtually all cases.

    Based on the erroneous assumption that homosexual behavior in youth can change sexual orientation, various laws exist regarding consensual sexual behavior. It is not uncommon that the ages of 16 to 18 are considered appropriate for heterosexuals and ages 18 to 21 are considered appropriate for homosexuals. The assumption that one can be taught sexual orientation lacks foundation. Yet, research shows that more heterosexual (62%) than homosexual (39%) males reported their first sexual experience to be homosexual.101 Bell et al. (1981) state:
    “We found no support for the notion that homosexual males are likely to have been ‘seduced’ by older men . . . in fact, [homosexuals compared to heterosexuals] were somewhat more likely to describe their partners as friends and acquaintances . . . and slightly less likely to say they were strangers.”102
    These findings confirm other research showing homosexuals initial homosexual experiences are with peers.103
    Sexually Predatory Males

    Among predatory sexual deviates, irrespective of the sex of the victim, heterosexuals predominate; thus, children are unlikely to be molested by identifiably gay or lesbian individuals. Using questionable data regarding numbers of homosexuals in the general population, Freund and Watson, while indicating, “the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.” .go on to say, “This of course, would not indicate that androphilic [homosexual] males have a greater propensity to offend against children.”104
    Since the undeveloped genitalia of pre-pubescent children are ambiguous, if not somewhat female in sexual appearance, male heterosexual pedophiles, most of whom are sexually immature and inadequate in terms of adult relationships, seek out pre-pubescent children. These predatory male heterosexuals, unlike ghettoized Gays, have easy access to children of either sex. “The typical heterosexual molester of male children, . . . appeared masculine and robust. However, he was religious, moralistic, guilt-ridden, and lonely . . . able to feel in control of a sexual situation only with children.”105 Heterosexuals also predominate as phebophiles, those sexually attracted to adolescents at or about the time of puberty.
    Among incarcerated offenders who molest male victims, the vast majority are male heterosexuals.106 Groth and Birnbaum, after examining 275 cases of male child molestation, say, “In any case, in over 12 years of clinical experience, we have yet to see any regression from an adult homosexual orientation.” In patient populations of ego-dystonic homosexuals, seduction of youthful males by older males is exceptionally rare.107 After surgical destruction of the female mating center to reduce a professional man’s interest in male children, his pedophilia became insatiable. Later destruction of his male mating center stopped the unwanted sexual behavior.108

    Macho heterosexuals in prison:
    ” . . . view other people as objects to be used or destroyed. The [‘wolf’ or ‘jock’] was heterosexual outside prison; on the inside he uses weaker prisoners, dominating then and, in effect, womanizing them and masturbating in their bodies. . . . affirming masculinity through violence and conquest. . . . The “punk” or “lamb,” probably entered prison heterosexual . . . It seems that sexual deprivation is far from the chief motive for prison homosexuality. Rather, homosexuality becomes an instrument for establishing rank and status, validating masculinity, and creating protective-dependent relationships.”109

  • billforsyth

    Where this teacher went wrong was in having a sexual relationship and a marriage with an adult rather than use his position of authority to abuse a frightened child then have it all covered up .

  • Ogre Magi

    christians should be avoided at all cost

  • ShowMeGuy

    Private schools are private for a reason. They decide the rules for *their world* and if you don’t like it…you are free to leave. As long as the parents who write those tuition checks keep writing….nothing is going to change…because it doesn’t have to be changed.
    Ironically, a typical local public school isn’t going to be much better.

  • ShowMeGuy

    @billforsyth: But this teacher is GAY and he works at an all-GIRL school. SO no chance of finding anyone to molest. Besides, molesting kids is the priests’ job.

  • ShowMeGuy

    @Ogre Magi: You obviously have never met a REAL Christian.

  • kevininbuffalo

    Where this teacher went wrong was in taking a job with the Catholic church, the most homophobic organization in the world. Did any of his “friends”(teachers) at the school speak up in his defense? I doubt it. They’re scared of losing their jobs.
    Gay Catholics need to wake up and leave “THE CHURCH” cause “THE CHURCH” is our biggest enemy. The sooner Gay Catholics realize this the happier they’ll be. I left in 1975 and it was the smartest move I ever made.

  • dancan

    The Catholic Church is hardly a “model” when it comes to preaching to others of ethical living standards. If that were true, then over one billion dollars in outstanding lawsuits against sexual charges against their priests sexually abusing young boys wouldn’t exist.

  • Kieran

    I’m curious, does the Catholic church fire all employees who get divorced in violation of church teaching? Or is it just the gays that they have a zero toleration policy with?

  • stadacona

    Why would he work for the child-touching catholic cult anyway…dirty money.

  • hf2hvit

    Why does ANYBODY want to be part of a club/cult that hates you? Most religions and the GOP. Find some self-respect and MOVE ON!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Ogre Magi: Yes, and in this case you spelled “christians” correctly! No “C”hristian worth their ecclesiastical salt would dare pull such an unChristian stunt as the Roamin’ Catholic Church hierarchy has done for the last 7-8 centuries. It is just as bad to lump all Christians together as it is to lump all Catholics together. Surely the better majority of both groups are honorable… it’s the religious a$$holes that make everone else look bad!


    wait till you see how they handle inter racial dating and marriages of students and parishioners, tain’t purtttty. McGee!

  • scott747

    @billforsyth: Harsh but so true!

  • Eiswirth

    How horrible. Another example of Catholicism at its finest. This man did nothing to deserve being fired; the staff, and I assume that includes the principal and probably the local archbishop, already knew hew was gay. God forbid he declare his love openly. It doesn’t matter that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, but why introduce facts into their decision? Like others have said, does this school/local archdiocese fire divorced teachers and women who use contraception? I doubt it. Something similar just happened to a principal of a local Catholic high school in my community. and people (read:Catholics) are outraged and demanding his reinstatement. It’ll never happen, as our archbishop is a fucking Nazi.

    BTW, I used to go to Mass, etc, but with the onslaught of lies and misinformation that the Catholic Church vomited these past few years in response to allowing gay marriage I have quit the Church. It disgusts me. I only support retired nuns, who do/did the real work of the Church.

  • TrekBear

    If this “school” is open to non-Catholics, then California’s anti-discrimination laws should help this guy.

  • WOWfactor

    Regardless of what you think of the Catholic Church, a religious institution has a right to discriminate. The state won’t interfere in a religious institution’s policies. It seemed this particular school followed a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy until the teacher made a public declaration of his orientation. The Catholic bishops and cardinals are indeed a hideous bunch of hateful hypocrites but they have also been pretty clear about how they feel about gay marriage. Why would an employee of the Catholic Church be surprised at the termination of employment by declaring to the community at large that he is gay and married? As a teacher, he should be more bright.

    Remember (and I’m not talking about California), It is still legal in 29 states for everyone to fire someone for being gay. Before everyone runs out to get married, you might want to check to see if your state is included in this group. It’s no fun to be an unemployed newlywed!

  • davidnwpa09

    @ShowMeGuy: I would argue that the Catholic schools are no better than public schools in terms of curriculum or achievement. They are not held to the same rigors or standards as the public schools have. Their teachers don’t have to face the same level of methodology and pedagogy training that public school teachers have. I speak from experience as I attended Catholic schools for 16 years, taught in a Catholic school for 2 years, and am starting my 9th year as a public high school teacher.

  • Will L

    He works for a Catholic school. What did he think would happen – that they would throw him a shower? Just illustrates that not all teachers have functioning gray matter. Not that I’m condoning their actions, but really…

  • BlogZilla

    (Shakes head) All this bullshit about the USA being free is a crock. I’ve been to other countries that feel way freer than here. That guy should sue the pants off the county and state and district

  • BlogZilla

    And by the way. Those two look like brothers or twins

  • GymJockTX

    @2eo: RIGHT ON. Thank you.

  • RJ

    sue the school

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Just three years shy of collecting a pension(?) Convenient.

    If he were a pedophile, he would have been quietly recirculated to another district and protected by these monsters.

    It sounds as though he was a popular teacher. The only thing they taught by ““upholding its mission to educate students in the tradition of the Catholic faith” is how unfair and short-sighted their cult is. Those children will walk away, determined not to repeat this tragedy in their own lives.

  • Jerry12

    Anyone who has had anything to do with the “Catholic” Church knows they are dealing with one of the oldest organizations in the world that used physical torture and death of its members who veared, even slightly, from its teachings, and would do so today if they could get away with it.

  • heydavis

    Last week, about gays, Pope Francis: “Who am I to Judge”. Apparently the St. Lucy’s Priory administration consider themselves superior to the Pope. Sheer hypocrisy!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Soooo typical for Roman Catholic Taliban!!!

Comments are closed.