Gay Teacher Firing in Ohio Prompts Outrage, Legal Action

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Carla Hale is fighting back against what she believes to have been an illegal loss of her job.

The 57-year old says she was let go by an Ohio Catholic school after the institution learned - via her mother's obituary, which named her partner - that Hale is gay.

Carla Hale Pic

An attorney for Hale plans to file a complaint this week with the city of Columbus because it outlaws firings based on sexual orientation.

A handful of current and former student rallied behind the physical education teacher soon after she was fired, protesting outside the diocese headquarters and passing around an online petition.

It has already collected about 100,000 signatures.

Hale was told in March that a letter was sent to the school from a "concerned parent." It alerted officials to Hale's mother's obituary, in which the author wrote that she was "shocked" to see Hale's partner listed a a female.

"It's kind of baffling that someone would take an obituary and use it, to me, in such a mean-spirited manner," Hale said at a news conference last week.

School employees can't go against teachings of the church, according to a statement by the diocese. It reads:

"All Catholic school personnel at the outset of their employment agree that they will abide by the rules, regulations and policies of the Catholic Diocese, including respecting the moral values advanced by the teachings of Christ."

Yesterday, of course, Jason Collins became the first professional athlete to come out as gay, prompting more talk on this ongoing, often contentious issue.