Trial Opens Over Firing of Pregnant Ohio Teacher
CINCINNATI -- A Roman Catholic archdiocese and two of its schools violated the civil rights of a teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination, her attorney told jurors Tuesday.
Christa Dias was terminated simply for being pregnant and unmarried, and it’s illegal to fire an employee for being pregnant, her attorney Robert Klingler told federal jurors during opening statements of the trial over Dias’ lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the schools.
Klingler started his statement by showing jurors a photo of Dias’ daughter, who is now 2 years old.
He said Dias had always wanted a child even after realizing she was gay and decided on artificial insemination to become pregnant. She also loved her job teaching computer classes at the schools and believed herself to be "a good teacher and a good moral person," he said. Dias, who is not Catholic, did not know that artificial insemination would be considered a violation of her contract and Catholic doctrine, he said.
But Steven Goodin, representing the archdiocese and the schools, said there was no discrimination. He says Dias was fired "for intentionally violating a contract."
Goodin pointed out to jurors a clause in the employment contract saying employees must "comply with and act consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings" of the Catholic church and the schools’ policies and directives.
The archdiocese has said that artificial insemination violates that doctrine and is immoral.
Goodin noted that Dias is gay and therefore "shouldn’t have signed a contract knowing that she was violating" church doctrine.