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Second Roncalli counselor claims she is being discriminated against for her same-sex marriage

Posted at 3:50 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 19:55:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A second guidance counselor at Roncalli High School has come forward claiming the school is discriminating against her because of her sexual orientation.

Lynn Starkey, Co-Director of guidance at Roncalli High School, filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Friday, alleging "discrimination and hostile work environment based on sex and sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

READ | Shelly Fitzgerald remains on paid administrative leave with Roncalli

According to a press release sent out by Starkey's attorney on Friday, she has served as a guidance counselor at the school for 21 years and has worked at Roncalli for the past 39 years. 

"Ms. Starkey is a gay female and she and her spouse obtained a civil union license in 2015," the release states. 

It claims that two days after Roncalli and the Archdiocese placed Shelly Fitzgerald on paid administrative leave the principal asked her if she was in a civil union, which she answered truthfully. 

"The Archdiocese and Roncalli's decision to threaten Ms. Fitzgerald's employment, and place her on administrative leave, has severely or perversely altered the conditions of Ms. Starkey's work environment in multiple respects."

READ | Roncalli guidance counselor says she was asked to resign over same-sex marriage | Parents demand change and show support for Roncalli counselor

The charges claim that Starkey has had to assume Fitzgerald's responsibilities, which has added to her workload and has caused her "severe emotional distress, pain and suffering and mental anguish."

Starkey's lawyer also claims she is also seeking back pay for a bonus she had earned in 2009 but had never received. 

Starkey's claims come the day after Shelly Fitzgerald announced she was moving forward with her case against Roncalli High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for her own same-sex marriage case. 

Fitzgerald said she is still on paid administrative leave with Roncalli High School. She is pushing for the Archdiocese to extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees and to allow the creation of support groups at Catholic high schools. 

"Don't get me wrong, I love Roncalli. I always have and I always will. It is time to make things better. It is time for us to start living what we teach. We all need to be more loving, more accepting and more welcoming to everyone, just as Jesus did and just as he called us to do," said Fitzgerald.

Starkey's lawyer spoke to the media on Friday afternoon. You can watch that below. 

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