Last Wednesday, Tippi McCullough and Barb Mariani traveled from Little Rock, Arkansas to Alberquerque, New Mexico to marry. 45 minutes after they exchanged vows at their wedding, McCullough got a phone call from her boss, saying if she didn’t resign, she would be fired — because she had just married a woman.
McCullough (image, right) says the school knew of her relationship and they should not have been surprised. She is now demanding an apology and the enactment of a non-discrimination policy from Mount St. Mary’s Academy, the century-old Little Rock, Arkansas Catholic all-girls’ high school where she taught English for 15 years.
In a video at Arkansas Online, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin can be heard at an HRC press conference in Little Rock today saying that not only was McCullough’s relationship with Mariani not a secret, but Barb “was part of the community here at Mount St. Mary’s.”
“I just wanted to teach,” McCullough said at the presser, the Arkansas Times reports, adding she said she hopes everyone approaches the issue with “peace, intelligence, patience and understanding.”
Griffin also took to HRC’s website.
“As an educational institution and one of deep faith, Mount St. Mary should be setting an example of tolerance and acceptance – ideals put forward recently by Pope Francis as he urges the Catholic Church hierarchy to put aside judgment of LGBT people,” writes Griffin, who is an Arkansas native.
Now, HRC is calling on Mount St. Mary’s students, teachers, donors, and community members to speak out against this injustice.
I am proud to stand with Tippi, Barb, and all of my fellow fair-minded Arkansans. They deserve nothing less, as they return to our home state from their honeymoon.
In the video, Marinari, who happens to be a deputy prosecutor, says that the couple truly had faith that Mount St. Mary’s would “stand up for justice.”
Sadly, they were disappointed.
HRC delivered 50,000 signed petitions to Mount St. Mary’s, and they’re asking for more people to sign the petition.
Image via HRC on Facebook
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