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Gay teacher in Indiana reaches settlement with Catholic school that fired him

The unidentified teacher was fired last month by Cathedral High after the Indianapolis archdiocese ordered it to do so.

A Catholic high school in Indianapolis, Ind.has reached a confidential settlement with a teacher who was fired last month because he is in a same-sex marriage.

The Indianapolis Star reports that an attorney representing the teacher announced the settlement with Cathedral High School.

Attorney Kathleen DeLaney says the teacher, who has remained anonymous thanks Cathedral for his time teaching there and says he doesn't wish the school "any harm."

"The teacher also thanks his friends, former colleagues, and students for their support during this difficult time," a statement from the teacher reads.

Cathedral is one of several Catholic schools that have been dealing with the issue of teachers in same-sex marriages after the Archdiocese of Indianapolis became more aggressive in seeking to remove such employees.

The archdiocese has told all schools under its purview to enforce employment contracts that require teachers, counselors and administrators to live according to church teachings. 

Cathedral announced two weeks ago that it was terminating a gay teacher in order to avoid a split with the archdiocese. The week before, the archdiocese cut ties with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis after it refused to fire a teacher who is in a same-sex marriage. 

Brebeuf is run by the Jesuit order of priests and receives no financial support from the archdiocese. Cathedral also is an independent school and receives no financial support from the archdiocese, but it relies on the archdiocese for priests to staff the school and conduct religious services

Officials with Cathedral High School and the archdiocese said they were in discussions over the teacher for nearly two years before the school let him go. A spokesperson for Cathedral said school leaders felt they had no choice in order to retain their Catholic identity. In the statement released Tuesday, the school thanked the former teacher for his "years of service, contributions, and achievements."

The settlement with Cathedral does not include the archdiocese, and the teacher intends to pursue legal action against it.

"We intend to hold the archdiocese accountable for violations of federal and state law," DeLaney says. 

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