2005_11_cathschool.jpgThe NYCLU is getting involved with the case of Michelle McCusker, who was fired from her Catholic school teaching job for being pregnant while unmarried. St. Rose of Lima School in Rockaway says that McCusker violated the "tenets of Catholic morality" (the principal wrote, "When a situation becomes evident that a teacher's life can not [sic] witness what the Catholic Church teaches, then termination of contract must occur"); the NYCLU is claiming gender discrimination, asking how the Catholic school would investigate a male teacher for impregnating a woman not his wife. McCusker is taking the "what else was I supposed to do route?" by saying:

"I don't understand how a religion that prides itself on being forgiving could terminate me because I am unmarried and choose to have a baby...If I decided to abort the baby, the decision to fire me would not have been made because they would not have known."

Which is totally true! McCusker was pregnant when she was hired in September, but only told her principal after the first trimester. The Daily News points out that when an unmarried employee for a Catholic charity in Buffalo was demoted for being pregnant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "found that the charity violated anti-discrimination laws."

If the school or church gets any sort of federal funding, we'd imagine that the NYCLU and McCusker have a case, but with our straight-from-the-TV legal knowledge, it seems like the school could argue that McCusker lied when taking the job, since she apparently agreed to the school's handbook. Then again, if a bunch of liberal parents get upset about this, and the church wants to show, oh, say, forgiveness and compassion, then it'll fold and welcome McCusker back. Or at least give her and her baby a settlement.

Photograph from NY Post