By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com August 07 2013 11:37 AM ET
A group of current and former students of a gay teacher are rallying around him, after his private school fired him when news of his wedding went public.
More than 45,000 people have signed a petition launched by Ken Bencomo's students, demanding that he be allowed to return to his job this fall. Bencomo has taught English at St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora, Calif., for 17 years. On July 1, a local newspaper ran a front page article about marriage equality, featuring a photo of Bencomo and his husband.
Despite an outpouring of support by alumni, faculty, and current students, Bencomo swiftly was told by school administrators that his marriage violated the Catholic church's teachings, so he had to be fired.
Brittany Littleton, 23, is a former student who launched the petition, and is now coordinating the press conference this Thursday at 9 a.m. at the school, where she and other current and former students will deliver the massive petition.
“As a proud alum of St. Lucy’s, I am hurt and saddened by this blatant discrimination against Mr. B. No one should be fired for marrying the person they love,” Littleton said in a statement Wednesday. “Along with current and former St. Lucy’s students, I look forward to taking this message, along with 45,000 signatures, directly to my alma mater. It’s the Christian thing to do.”