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Protesters Rally in Support of Gay Teacher Fired for Marrying Partner

A group of protesters are supporting a Mount St. Mary Academy teacher who was fired for marrying her partner.
Protesters rallied in support of a teacher they say was fired for marrying her partner.
Protesters rallied in support of a teacher they say was fired for marrying her partner.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Protesters gathered at Mount St. Mary on Monday and rallied in support of their teacher, who was fired last week for entering into a same-sex marriage.

People rallied outside the school and the Little Rock Catholic Diocese. Supporters said Tippi McCullough shouldn't have been fired over her personal life.

Their message to school administrators and church leaders Monday is to change the rules.

"I want Mount girls in there right now to see that we support them no matter what your sexual orientation is," said Sylene Cortez, a Mount St. Mary graduate.

Former students and members of the community were holding signs in a peaceful rally to support McCullough. Cortez organized the rallies, and says she was outraged after learning McCullough was fired for marrying her partner.

"(McCullough) said she loves us all, and she's very grateful for this happening, and yeah thanks for the support," said Cortez.

While protesters admit they believe the school was within its rights to take action, they're upset with the rules, saying they don't follow the teachings students receive.

"We were taught you know mercy values, which is like the intrinsic dignity and worth of a person, compassion, mercy, all the things that don't fall in line with what has happened," said Chloe Poirot, a McCullough supporter.

The group also took its rally to the Little Rock Diocese, but officials can't comment on a personnel matter.

"We believe that marriage is, always has been and always will be by definition the union of one man and one woman," said Father Jason Tyler of the Little Rock Catholic Diocese.

But this response isn't enough for a group hoping to make a change.

"Encouragement to be more inclusive and more tolerant and accepting of diversity in their student body and their faculty," Cortez said.

Mount St. Mary school leaders released a new statement Monday:

"We have confidence in the school's leadership and the decision they have made during this trying time, and we respect the privacy of all who are involved."

McCullough and her wife are expected to be at a human rights campaign Tuesday morning to talk about the firing.
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