In the wake of historic victories for gay-rights supporters in last month's elections, a pair of USA TODAY/Gallup Polls find growing acceptance among Americans toward gay men and lesbians _ and soaring optimism among gay Americans that issues involving homosexuality will one day no longer divide the nation. **Note: this image is not available to download.

Portland Catholic school changes gay hiring policy after backlash

August 28, 2015

Share this!

In the wake of historic victories for gay-rights supporters in last month's elections, a pair of USA TODAY/Gallup Polls find growing acceptance among Americans toward gay men and lesbians _ and soaring optimism among gay Americans that issues involving homosexuality will one day no longer divide the nation.  **Note: this image is not available to download.

In the wake of historic victories for gay-rights supporters in last month's elections, a pair of USA TODAY/Gallup Polls find growing acceptance among Americans toward gay men and lesbians _ and soaring optimism among gay Americans that issues involving homosexuality will one day no longer divide the nation. **Note: this image is not available to download.

PORTLAND, Ore.(Reuters) A Catholic high school here has reversed its policy on gay employees after receiving a public backlash for refusing to hire a woman because she is a lesbian, school officials said on Thursday (Aug. 27).

The school board of the all-girls St. Mary's Academy voted unanimously late Wednesday to add sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity policy.

The school had come under fire after it last month withdrew plans to give Lauren Brown a job as a counselor because of her sexual orientation.

Brown had accepted the job in the spring but was told by the school in July that she would not get it because of her "impending marriage to a same-sex partner," according to Brown's attorney, Gloria Trainor.

Brown is not engaged and has no plans to marry anytime soon, Trainor said.

Some students at the school launched an online protest in support of Brown after the details of the withdrawal emerged this week.

A major donor to the school, Tim Boyle, chief executive officer of Columbia Sportswear Co., had also condemned the decision and told a local newspaper there was no place in the workplace for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"The news this week is an example of how to not prepare students," Boyle told the Oregonian in an interview published before the school updated its employment policy.

School officials said they are talking to parents, students and staff about the situation so that "healing within our community can begin."

St. Mary's Academy President Christina Friedhoff said in a statement the school welcomes and includes gay and lesbian students, faculty, alumnae, parents and friends, "including those that are married."

"We are proud of our work preparing the next generation of women leaders for service and leadership. We are still deeply committed to our Catholic identity," she said.

The school has already offered another candidate the position, Friedhoff added, but she said they would reach out to Brown and that the school is "open to further discussions with her about reconciliation."

Trainor said Brown turned down the school's initial offer of one year's salary to settle the matter. She would not comment on what future steps her client might take.

The attorney said Brown has a "guarded optimism" about broad change, and that she hopes the school and the Catholic Church will one day support "full and equal rights" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

(Reporting by Shelby Sebens.)


  1. This is persecution against Christians that follow Jesus instead of worshipping the rainbow idol.

  2. Discrimination is unpopular? Who would have thought of that?

  3. Looks like they were worried about losing money from Tim Boyle. That is never a reason to toss out your Faith, and embrace the world. Those who are Faithful, God will provide. These schools are lacking that Trust in the Divine Lord–very very poor judgment.

  4. The allegation of a “public backlash” in the first sentence is misleading. Displeasure at the principal’s decision was expressed within the school’s community. Students, alumnae, and board members were outraged.

  5. Christians feeling “persecuted” need to contemplate the fence on which a young gay man named Matthew Shepard was hung to die, on October 12, 1998, and learn a bit of humility.

  6. Amazingly enough, people don’t like donating money to bigots. There’s a lesson in this for all the Bible-cultists out there, pretending to be Christian.

  7. The Catholic School cannot be committed to its Catholic identity by hiring an acknowledged lesbian as a counselor. Would she counsel lesbian leaning students to a lifetime of chastity? That is the Catholic approach.
    Why gays insist on storming the walls of Catholic Institutions is becoming tiresome and should be denounced as offensive to the dignity of the Faith.
    The fact that the students protested her firing shows that they themselves are not learning the Catholic faith correctly.

  8. Imagine, a Roman Catholic school hiring staff on the basis of their professional qualifications! Who would have thought it possible?

  9. Teaching children that is normal and righteous to practice sexual immorality is an evil practice and sinful. Shame on this so-called “catholic” school.

  10. Your god does not provide for millions of innocent starving children, yet he supposedly easily could. That makes your god a jerk.

  11. Why did your god create so many homosexuals in so many species of animal?

  12. Why is Mr. Boyle condemning the Catholic’s stance on same sex marriage now? It’s not like their stance against same sex marriage has changed and it sounds like he had no problem donating before. Seems to me a large donor would consider these issues BEFORE making any donations.

  13. As a lifelong Oregonian and native Portlander, let me say the city is the goofiest provincial city in America. The official slogan, “The City that Works,” (It doesn’t) was stolen from Chicago, The expression, “Keep Portland Weird,” (It most definitely is) was stolen from Austin, TX. They probably stole, “The Naked Bike Ride.’ No surprise a Roman Catholic high school here would roll on the stated issue. I’ve often thought of relocating to someplace more conservative, but geographically Oregon has it all. That’s why progressive empty heads keeping moving here and make it “progressively” worse.

  14. Glenn Beck,(Not a Favorite) recently declared Portland the city most likely to implode in the event of a national breakdown of the social order…I could only laugh in bitter irony.

  15. So many? They are a slim minority in every species. An aberration, a handicap, an oddity of nature. Why are some born with any genetic defect? Who knows?

  16. Karen, do you invite the downtrodden into your home for a meal and a cot? The thing is, there is a wide variety of people in this world, and if all followed the Gospel, there would be no hungry people. Those who have, would give, and those who are in need, would seek to better their lives, and grow in the grace of God. The problem is most people ignore God, or make statements about Him that are careless, so, God Almighty, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, will remove Himself from their lives, and let them fend for themselves. That, of course, only worsens the problem. So look at the poor as an opportunity, provided by God, to be charitable. That is why many Sisters teach the poor, as they charitably give of their lives, so to improve the lives of others. That is the way of God.

  17. Diogenes: I used to live in Seattle, and at the time they used to refer to the Californians as the “a-holes from California.” Every time I went to Portland, it was synonymous there as well. Now, however, all of the Leftists have fled from California because it costs too much to live there (I wonder why??), and have now infested the entire west coast. You should get out while you can get out; faith needs others who have faith, otherwise you eventually fall into the Devil’s trap, and the end is not good. The Leftists have taken over the Left Coast. What’s the old saying? “a long time ago the earth tipped, and everything that was loose on the east coast, rolled west…”

  18. Mathew Sheppard’s death had to do with his interaction with drug dealers.

    Get your urban legend and propaganda straightened out pal.

    LBGT’s forcing Christian schools and Churches to celebrate and condone their sins is persecution of Christians. No different than the Romans forcing Christians to obeisance to their pagan gods. Now of course it is a rainbow god all must show allegiance to or get slammed.

    Persecution 100%

  19. Grag1,

    It’s easy to see now how S_dom and G_morrah “and the surrounding cities,” got the way they did.

    “All of the people . . .”

  20. Now you are making progress, Dominic ; you admit that it is not a choice. Great strides for you. Now learn to leave your crazy Christian beliefs behind.

    Good on ya Dominic! Progress!

  21. Sorry Chris, but you and Greg1 are making too much sense. The Gay Gestapo is gonna get mad at both of you soon, and then some 25-cent libbie bonehead judge will be forcing YOU guys to hand over your life savings as well !!!

  22. I dare ANY member of the St. Mary’s Academy board to show up on this discussion board to explain why they TRAITORED OUT their own Catholic Faith just because some distant relative of Judas Iscariot happens to be a fancy “CEO Big Donor” to their school !!!!

  23. Explain your definition of homosexual behavior. Do you mean male animals helping other male animals clean themselves? Or other.

  24. Define “worse”. Sexual immorality as defined by Christians seem to be the only damn things Christians worry about. Never are Christians standing up against senseless war, racism, poverty, or inequality with ANY of the same vigor they stand up for their narrow minded definition if sexual morality. Since that is what you are so concerned about, take yourself and all your Christian allies and move to the states that accepts your ideals. The red ones (texas and southern). You know the ones that have the highest beliefs in God to go along with the highest rates of teen pregnancy, premarital sex, incest, and most likely the highest rates of adult sexual abuse of minors. If your Christian faiths can fix THOSE states, we’ll talk. But until your hypocrisy problem is fixed, (nice going Josh Duggar), us non-christians give ZERO credence to your religious ideals.

  25. Oh and the Catholic church wouldnt need big donors if they werent losing 6 members for every one tht joined.

  26. Obesity is not a choice either. What if they demanded to be called skinny and all clothes could be found in the slim section? Can they eat like gluttons and demand that they be sold a size One that fits?
    Gay marriage is not marriage because one of the partners is not the opposite sex of the other.

  27. We don’t need big donors at all. That’s merely a secular concern. The Faith is indestructible, and all of those Catholics swimming in ignorance can, and should, leave. The Church will survive as it always has.

  28. Greg1, no, it is, according to your claims, your god who caused the unnecessary suffering and death, and left it for others to fix. That makes him a jerk. It’s that simple.

    Get over your religion of hate already.

  29. No, the religion is fading out. And that’s great news.

  30. As usual, Greg1, your comment is merely derogatory. You represent your bigoted tribe well. And I say that as a real Conservative, not the Christian type.

  31. I would love to see a link to a story which claims that. But we all know you are just full of sh1t.

  32. “Worse,” is more than the issue of sexual immorality. For myself, I classify as a traditional Populist; that is I am very conservative on issues such as sex, abortion, divorce, etc. while I embrace Capitalism with a certain ambivalence. Capitalism obviously outclasses Marxism as a viable economic model, But Capitalism driven primarily by greed rather than job creation does ill service to everyone outside of the plutocrats of Wall Street. I abhor racial intolerance, recognize the importance of sound stewardship of the earth’s resources, without embracing the radicalism of Earth First and their ilk. That is, earth’s resources are a gift of God to be managed sensibly without being wholly sequestered. I embrace service to the poor and disenfranchised while adhering to a strictly orthodox acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was wholly against the war in Iraq in 2003 despite my Republican views. Why should I leave my home of 56 years for a bunch of interlopers from…

  33. Can’t speak for the Catholic Church, but as for Christianity as a whole, I refer you to Mark Twain, “The reports of my Death, are highly exaggerated.”

  34. Karen you will never understand that we are God’s hands and feet in this world. We Christians are the Body of Christ…

  35. Too be clear, I’m not asking you too leave. Just seems to me that if you are so unhappy living in a place that’s being infected with liberals, moving to a community with more like-minded people would be more pleasurable. As a non-believer I totally support everyone’s right worship how they want. But thats a two way street. Your stance on the other issues we might agree on. But about my “vigor” argument…I would love to see screenshots of the Christian posters here, where in the last week they were also posting messages about protecting the environment, fighting for poverty, or railing against racism. As for calling non-believers interlopers…the Christian hypocrisy continues. Christians invaded this country, pushed out Native Americans and established our own ideals. Christians are the ones so intent on legislating their sexual morality others. And at times many liberals do the same. But sorry, Christians are interlopers as much as anyone. I support freedom, thats why I’m…

  36. When it looks like religion is fading out, that is when we need to watch out for the intervention of God Almighty. That is a sign of the end.
    1 Timothy 4:1: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
    Luke 18:8: “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

  37. Why is it that the Leftists have no sense of humor???

  38. Karen,

    More people are being debauched and embracing immorality. Of course they are leaving the Church.

    Reason and logic demands that the degenerate does not want to look in a mirror.

    But those that stay?

    Sounds like the original Church is still with us.

  39. The “drug deal” was actually the two killers trying to get Shepard’s money to buy drugs.

    When Shepard came onto them, they “snapped” and beat him to death. You know. Perfectly acceptable response to someone liking you.

  40. When ‘God’ was passing out brains, he apparently forgot to give you yours.

  41. Claiming persecution over legal equality is the ultimate whine.

  42. ROFLMAO. Bible-cultists whining because the government won’t enforce their hatreds.

  43. You are confusing the Bible-cultists who crawl this site with actual, practicing Christians. There are far fewer people who practice Christ’s teachings, than who idolize the scriptural collection assembled in the 4th century (by the Catholics) which has come to be known as the Bible.

  44. Did any person or government official try to stop you from going to church, praying in public, or talking about your Lord and Savior?
    Then you’re not being “persecuted” and I think you should really consider looking up the definition of “religious persecution” in a history book.

Leave a Comment