Seattle-area teachers reported fired for being gay; Catholic school says they resigned

News

A Seattle-area Catholic school’s claim that two teachers resigned has been disputed by allegations that they were forced out over their same-sex relationships.

King County Council member Dave Upthegrove posted a statement from Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, south of Seattle, that said two teachers, Paul Danforth and Michelle Beattie, “voluntarily resigned” from their positions. But Upthegrove claimed in his post that the teachers were forced out “solely because they are gay.”

“This is a reminder of the blatant discrimination that continues to exist in our community against members of the LGBT community,” Upthegrove said.

Sean Nyberg, Danforth’s fiancĂ©, said that the English teacher “is no longer employed specifically because he and I got engaged.”

“We entered into an agreement to take our relationship to the next level and enjoy the emotional, spiritual, and legal benefits that marriage provides,” Nyberg said in a statement to the station. “However, in our case, Paul no longer is employed because I had asked him to marry me and he said yes.”

Nyberg told KING that Beattie also left because of a same-sex relationship.

A fundraising campaign that lists Nyberg as a co-organizer said the teachers were no longer employed because “of their sexual orientation and desire to live authentically (and legally) married to their partners.”

Neither the school nor the Archdiocese of Seattle immediately responded to requests for comment.