• Germany's news in English

Court: Catholic church can fire lesbian

The Local · 19 Jun 2012, 17:02

Published: 19 Jun 2012 17:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:27 June 19, 2012 by yourkeau
Couldn't believe this is happening in Germany.
17:35 June 19, 2012 by Bigfoot76
The Church views homosexuality as a sin. Okay fine but to fire someone because they are a "sinner" just as everyone else is in the church seems very wrong. Who decides which sins are tolerable and which are not? As stated in another story by Wood Artist (giving credit lol) "Love the sinner but hate the sin". No sinner is any less guilty than the other. These kind of things are a big reason why religion is often looked on as a hypocrisy.
21:35 June 19, 2012 by lumberjack
Remember this article from a few weeks ago:


"There should not be a blanket ban from employing priests who have committed sexual crimes, argued Bishop of Trier Stephen Ackermann, the church official responsible for dealing with the sex abuse scandal in the church."

This woman did nothing criminal, yet they want to fire her and keep priests who have committed sexual crimes. Who would you prefer to be watching over your kids?????
22:24 June 19, 2012 by wood artist

Thanks for the credit, but the statement was hardly original. However, like you, I think it applies here too. I also like @lumberjack's logic...keep the abuser (for some reason, maybe because he's male) but fire the woman who hasn't done anything criminal.

Remember...it's all about Power!

08:51 June 20, 2012 by delvek
Makes sense.

I think the difference here is that even though we all sin, the idea is that we are trying our best NOT to. If you are willingly waking up in sin everyday then how are you to pass on to children the belief that one should limit their sin. Parents send their kids to Catholic school to get these lessons taught.
10:57 June 20, 2012 by blackboot11
A very sad state of affairs all around here:

1. Why would someone who is homosexual want to work for an orginazation that is trapped in the dark ages with its views on contemporary society?

2, Why is it that the Catholic church preaches 'love all your brothers and sisters' while spewing such hatred?

3. Why is this bavarian judge following the rules of the church and not the laws of Germany?
12:01 June 20, 2012 by delvek
4. Why in 2012 are there still people who call the church dark ages, its 2012!

Blackboot, you could use a dose of tolerance since you expect it from the Catholic church. Calling millions of people stuck in the dark ages is pretty small minded. Tolerance, understanding that its okay for people to have different views and beliefs and still be okay.

One day some intelligence will be injected into our society!
12:17 June 20, 2012 by simski
blackboot11, as for 1): An overwhelming percentage of care facilities are owned by the Catholic church. It is not easy to find a job if you exclude them (and why would you want to if you're a member of the church yourself).

As for the issue: There are laws that forbid discrimination in hiring and firing. I find it hard to belive that they do not include sexual orientation. The woman from the article should appeal against the verdict (even if she doesn't want to keep working for the church).
12:50 June 20, 2012 by freechoice
Hate the sins not the people.

Like the love of money is the root of all evil. Not money itself.
13:37 June 20, 2012 by kazbar
this is appauling , does it realy matter how she lives her life if she is happy then why not , whatever she does in her private life is her affair not anyone elses besides lesbian and gay men make the best parents , i was bought up by two lesbians , come and live in england we have respect for everyone whatever their sexuality , the catholic church is full of preist abusing children , but that must be acceptable, all i can say is , the catholic church is full of bigots
14:14 June 20, 2012 by Kölner
The Catholic church and soccer are the last homo-free resorts, or so they claim.

The fact is, both institutions have a lot to cover up in that regard.

If you looked closely, you'd probably have trouble to point out the totally straight ones.

23:42 June 20, 2012 by Bigfoot76
Also, just so I am clear about something else....a priest (male) touches an alter boy (male) in a sexual manner repeatedly and this is not deemed as a homosexual act? What because the boy is underage his gender does not count? This woman is a kindergarten teacher who presumably is sexually involved with another women in a legal manner. The priest is the leader of the church and is sexually involved illegally with a boy but he gets to keep his job because he tried to keep it a secret?
09:19 June 21, 2012 by delvek
So, lol, two women or two men make the best parents, warped reality if I ever saw one.

If we were all gay the human race would become extinct unless we passed a law that said it was okay to farm babies for survival reasons.

Point is, removing the faith of others from the equation, it is a perversion of nature. Does that mean they are less of a person then another, no, but lets be honest here people.

lol, best parents, still laughing at that one.

@ Blackfoot, the problem is, if I am a devout Catholic paying to send my child to Catholic school to be educated and taught Catholic principles and beliefs, I do not want the person that is teaching my child to be willfully disobeying the principles of my belief. This lady is toast, good riddance she doesnt belong in the position she has. I do hope she sues and it will prove the rights of private institutions.
16:02 June 22, 2012 by Dejo
I can't believe she is still Catholic! And when she gets her next job she will still be paying Kirchensteuer to her persecutors. What a masochist!.
16:50 June 22, 2012 by barchen36
All of these 'good' christians' (intentional), can't even follow their own teachings, bet that ol' jc is rolling over in his grave. He doe forgive a 'lady of the evening' and nothing more is said as to IF she continued her occupation or not. The good prudes, of the times, could care less, it was good publicity. You do not think the same way as I, therefore, you are fired. Yes, the church is living in the dark ages and it is condoned by millions. These millions are to be kept in the dark ages for fear that they would find that there is LIFE outside of the narrow confines of the church. AVE CAESAR!
08:01 June 23, 2012 by yuri_nahl
It seems that a lot of this "controlling people by attributing falsehoods to their sexual prefference" comes from the Vatican. The American nuns have proved they are more normal than the Pope's gang. (who knew?) In Pennsylvania the Catholic geezer just got found guilty of shielding molesters...a first.
20:37 June 25, 2012 by raandy
WA, be mindful of those Trojan Horses one galloped across my screen the other day.

How could they consider her disloyal because of her sexuality, seems out dated and coming from an organization that has condoned child molesters and covered up for them a double standard.The Catholic church has no credibility.
15:12 June 26, 2012 by ml66uk
Someone can be fired from a job in a kindergarten for being lesbian? In Germany, in 2012?
Today's headlines
Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd