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Indiana state representative wants to block public funds from Roncalli

Posted at 11:02 AM, Aug 15, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana State Representative will try to block Roncalli High School from receiving public funds after a guidance counselor said she was asked to resign over her same-sex marriage.

Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis) wants to block public money from going toward any school that seeks to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a statement from his office.

Counselor Shelly Fitzgerald has been placed on administrative leave from Roncalli High School. She said someone sought out her marriage certificate that showed she was married to another woman and gave it to the school. 

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Rep. Forestal is an alumnus of Roncalli High School. 

Under current Indiana law, vouchers are given to private or religious educational institutions through the state’s school funding formula.

"I remain a part of the Roncalli family, and that makes Shelly Fitzgerald a family member too,” Forestal. said. "Roncalli should not be rewarded with state dollars if they choose to discriminate against employees simply based on who they love."

In a statement released Monday, Roncalli said the expectations and teachings of the Catholic Church are clearly defined in employee contracts and job descriptions. 

“The actions of Roncalli High School have unfolded in a manner that is contrary to the ideals I learned during my time there," Forestal said. “We were taught to love and accept everyone regardless of our differences. Roncalli should practice what they preach and reinstate Shelly Fitzgerald immediately and without any further consequences. And in the meantime, I will work to ensure that Hoosier tax dollars no longer fund these discriminatory actions.” 

Rep. Forestal can't officially file a bill until the legislature is back in session.

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