The high school alma matter of Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg has an unfortunately all-too-common policy in place: the school will not hire LGBTQ teachers. As an out-gay man, that disqualifies the popular presidential contender from working there.
Buttigieg attended Saint Joseph High, a private Catholic school in his native South Bend, Indiana the city in which he now serves as mayor. According to Jennifer Simerman, a spokesperson for the local diocese, “The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend requires our educators to adhere to Catholic teachings on the respect for the dignity of all persons and on marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
Simerman adds that policy disqualifies Buttigieg, as his marriage to a man is “incompatible with the mission of the Catholic school educator.” Simerman also contends that the school is welcoming of gay students, though it does prohibit transgender students.
“It perfectly underscores the very difficult situation of LGBTQ people in our country right now,” Eliza Byard, executive director of queer student advocacy group GLSEN said of the policy. Bayard told Rebecca Klein of The Huffington Post: “We live in a country where in some states it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people,” Byard said. “Religiously based schools like his high school have the legal right to refuse to hire people who are LGBTQ.”
Despite its discriminatory policies, Saint Joseph High and other religious schools like it still receive millions of dollars in public funds.