News » International

Italian Catholic School Fires Lesbian Teacher to 'Protect Ethics'

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

After the headmistress of a Catholic school in Italy allegedly fired a teacher for being lesbian, the school now faces the threat of losing funding for the action.

Gay Star News reports Eugenia Libratore, the headmistress of Sacro Cuore, said she fired an "adequate and professional" teacher rumored to be a lesbian in an effort to protect the schools "ethics."

"I told her I had heard these rumors and hoped they were false rumors, because I have a school environment to protect," said Libratore. "When choosing teachers for a Catholic school, I also do assessments from the point of view of moral ethics... The Catholic school has its own characteristics and set of educational guidelines that must be defended at all costs."

The costs are starting to add up. Italy's Ministry of Education has responded by launching an investigation into the Trento school, with the Minister of Education saying that if she finds out the teacher lost her job because of her sexual orientation, the school will face punishments.

"Whenever we are faced with a case related to sexual discrimination, we will act with due severity," Minister of Education Stefania Giannini told La Repubblica.

Pink News reports the teacher, known as "Silvia" told La Repubblica that she was fired after she refused to deny or confirm the rumors.

"What happened to me is medieval," she said. "Maybe I'm a lesbian, maybe I'm not. But asking me about my sexual orientation as a condition for renewing my contract is unacceptable."

Silvia also said that Libratore told her that she was "willing to turn a blind eye if I was willing to 'solve the problem.' Homosexuality is a problem?"

Ivan Scalfarotto, one of Italy's first openly gay politicians and vice president of the Democrat party, was reportedly called on by 20 senators to intervene, and said, "The fact that this institute receives government grants makes this sad story even more unbelievable."

It has been illegal in Italy to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation since 2003.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook