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Gay Glendora Catholic School Teacher Fired After Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony

St. Lucy’s Priory teacher Ken Bencomo married his partner in a civil ceremony earlier this month. Days later, he lost his job.

Gay St. Lucy's Priory teacher Ken Bencomo was fired from his job after he went public with his wedding ceremony to his longtime partner. Photo Credit: File photo.
Gay St. Lucy's Priory teacher Ken Bencomo was fired from his job after he went public with his wedding ceremony to his longtime partner. Photo Credit: File photo.

An online petition demanding St. Lucy’s Priory to give fired gay teacher Ken Bencomo his job back has been circulating following his firing from the all-girls Catholic high school in Glendora earlier this month.

The petition, initiated by former St. Lucy’s student Brittany Littleton, alleges that Bencomo, 45, was fired from his position as a teacher and the head of the school’s English department after the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin published photos of his July 1 wedding to his longtime partner Christopher Pensky, 32, in a civil ceremony at the San Bernardino County Hall of Records.

In the petition, Littleton describes Bencomo, who had taught at St. Lucy’s for 17 years, as “a beloved mentor, confidant, and educator. His passion for teaching, as well as his witty personality, have made him a favorite teacher among many students.”

The petition currently has more than 2,000 supporters.

Bencomo’s attorney Patrick McGarrigle told the Daily Bulletin that the school had known about Bencomo’s sexual orientation for years, but fired the teacher after he made his relationship with his partner public.

St. Lucy’s officials have declined to comment on Bencomo’s firing, but issued a written statement: “As a Benedictine school, St. Lucy's is a community for those who wish to express Christian values in education and develop person and academic excellence.”

What do you think about Ken Bencomo’s firing from St. Lucy’s Priory? Do you think he should get his job back? Tell us in the comments below.

Phoenix August 06, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Just out of curiousity, I would like to know if anyone feels that it would be appropriate for a Catholic-run hospital to terminate the employment of a contracted doctor who performs abortions or administers a lethal dose of morphine to a terminally ill patient. Please comment.
just my opinion August 06, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Phoenix: same issue there! These schools need to abide by the LAWS they put there in the first place. These schools have many other activities that are not in stride with Christian beliefs and they do nothing about it. If this teacher was a parent of a student, they would sweep their beliefs and rules right under the rug to get the tuition. The teacher get paid and they lose money with him. It's all about money!
Anne Kosanovich August 06, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Well said, JC. For all of the critics of St. Lucy's, how are any of your comments NOT judgmental, as well? A private school or company has the freedom, under the 1st Amendment, to follow their own religious convictions as they see them. When are we going to stop making excuses for people and let them live with the consequences of their choice of actions. You can not tell me that Mr. Bencomo didn't realize that his actions could cause his dismissal. He, however, pushed the limits and now has caused, not only his dismissal from the school, but unnecessary harm and challenge to the school and church. I don't see this as someone who 'loves' his place of employment or the church he teaches for. To allow this controversy to continue and not speak against the protests from students and others, just shows that he has an agenda. This is not loving. I am not Roman Catholic, but I do see this as an assault on religious freedom.
Steve Slakey August 08, 2013 at 12:02 AM
A private institution does have the right to determine what it expects of its employees. This teacher was known by the school to be gay, school staff had met his partner, and he had a long, successful tenure at the school. The school administration (which, by the way, distributed a grammatically incorrect statement as to the school's mission) had no problem until the teacher married and had his photo published in a local paper. In other words, all was OK with the administration until "the secret" was out. Then, of course, they had to scramble around, first, to put and end to the "scandal" and, second, to brazen their way through an explanation for their actions. Does this ring a bell? It's pretty much how the Church handled its molestation scandal. Cardinal Mahoney says he prays for the victims of priestly molestation. Why didn't he, and why doesn't St. Lucy's, treat people fairly and properly instead of covering their rear ends?
Phoenix August 13, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Relevant blog post from today; recommended reading! http://www.stevegershom.com/2013/08/yoiks-and-away/

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