- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

A parish food pantry worker who was fired over her marriage to another woman is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Colleen Simon says the diocese and parish knew before Simon was hired that she was married and her wife was a well-known community leader. She was fired when the couple was mentioned last April in a newspaper article.

The diocese plans to release a statement later Thursday.

The Missouri lawsuit is among a growing number of clashes over gay rights between Catholic leaders and their employees.

Dioceses in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Honolulu; Oakland, California, and elsewhere have added morals clauses to their teacher contracts barring public support for gay rights. As a result, more than 15 employees have lost their jobs or resigned since 2010.

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