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Court: Catholic church can fire lesbian

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Photo: DPA
17:02 CEST+02:00
The German Catholic Church can fire the head of a kindergarten for being a lesbian – but not until she has finished her maternity leave, a court ruled on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old kept her sexuality private for years while working in the Bavarian kindergarten – but decided to come out of the closet after having her baby. She told her church employers that she was living as a couple with another woman.

“I wanted to tell them, in order to put an end to this secrecy and the lies,” she said.

But the church saw her homosexuality as a serious breach of loyalty and wanted to fire her straight away – despite the fact she was on statutory maternity leave at the time.

The state authorities, which have to approve any such firing, refused because of the protection that maternity leave affords new mothers – but the parish church foundation in charge of the kindergarten appealed, saying it wanted to sack her immediately.

“Something like a life partnership between women is of course unthinkable for the church,” said Judge Ivo Moll of the Augsburg administrative court.

He said the woman can be fired – but said this must wait until the end of her maternity leave.

The woman, who says she remains a Catholic, said she did not expect to set foot in the kindergarten again.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/hc

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