Teacher sacked for marrying divorced man wins case

Catholic Church leaders told Resurrección Galera Navarro her marital situation was "untenable"

The Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of a Catholic religion teacher who was fired from a public school in 2001 after marrying a divorced man in a civil ceremony. The bishops of Almería justified their decision on the grounds that Resurrección Galera Navarro did not meet the necessary conditions to defend Christian morals and doctrine.

The decision overturned two previous rulings against the fired teacher's lawsuit, and recognized her right to "not suffer discrimination due to her personal circumstances."

According to the court, Galera Navarro's civil marriage to a divorcee "bears no relation with the plaintiff's teaching activity, just as it does not affect her dogmatic knowledge or pedagogic attitudes."

"We have received word that you are living with a married man. This situation is untenable," Galera, then 36, was told by religious leaders after working for seven years at the Ferrer Guardia public school, in the Almería town of Los Llanos de la Cañada. She was asked to leave her position immediately, and was told she could be hired again elsewhere in the province once her matrimonial situation was cleared up.

In 1999, Galera met a 51-year-old German national who had been married at the age of 20 but divorced in 1975.

Resurrección Galera, in a photo taken in December 2001
Resurrección Galera, in a photo taken in December 2001SANTIAGO BURGOS
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