Chilean Supreme Court Rules Against Lesbian Teacher

The Supreme Court of Chile ruled against a lesbian’s right to teach Catholic religion based classes in the school system. A 1983 Education Ministry decreee requires all relligon teachers to possess an aptitutde certificate issued by a religious authority. Sandra Parvez, who has taught religious classes for over 20 years, lost her fight to continue teaching Catholic religious classes after it was discovered that she was a lesbian. Chile’s Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation(MOVILH) denounced the decision “as one of the most violent ever made against a person’s dignity.” it regards the issue as to whether the Catholic Church has the right to decide who teaches classes in Chilean public schools.

Several Chilean legislators complained the Supreme Court was interfering in the right of secular institutions to make decisions without regard to what is thought or believed by the Catholic Church. MOVILH also pointed out single mothers and cohabiting partners are also being prevented from obtaining the certificate issued by the church.

Perhaps, it is time for Chile to take a different road and simply halt the teaching of religion in public schools.