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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay teacher fired after being outed by students
by Matt Simonette
2017-05-18

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Democratic candidate for Congress Marie Newman, who will be challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-CHicago) in the 2018 elections, on May 19, expressed outrage over the firing of a gay Catholic high school teacher.

DNA Info, on May 18, first reported on Matt Tedeschi, a Chicagoan who was fired from St. Ignatius College Prep after students found his online dating profile and outed him.

"It's outrageous today that people in our society are still being bullied and outed over their sexual orientation and even worse, that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters don't have protection in the workforce to prevent them for being fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Newman in a statement. "One of my children was severely bullied, and it has led me to a life of activism and standing up against those who would threaten and intimidate others in our society."

Tedeschi had taught religious studies at St. Ignatius since 2013. But in early 2016, a student found his profile on the dating site OKCupid and distributed screen-captures to other students. The profile said that Tedeschi was interested in men but did not give his name or place of employment. He was subjected to homophobic taunts from students thereafter; he was let go in early 2017.

Newman said that the episode serves as a reminder that the LGBT community badly needs comprehensive anti-discrimination protections at the federal level.

"Unlike Dan Lipinski, in Congress, I will proudly co-sponsor H.R. 2282, the Equality Act, which will provide consistent non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ people, as it relates to their employment, housing and education, among others," she said. "Teachers deserve the utmost respect and appreciation from our elected leaders and I'll work every day to make sure their dignity is protected in the workplace."

DNA Info's story is at dnain.fo/2pQQchy .


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