- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Students and alumni staged a walkout Wednesday in protest of a West Des Moines Catholic high school opting to not hire a substitute teacher full time after learning he was gay.

Des Moines Catholic Schools administrators sent a letter to parents Tuesday that said the applicant’s personal life was at odds with church teaching. The letter didn’t name the candidate. A Des Moines diocese spokeswoman said the substitute teacher no longer works at Dowling Catholic High School.

Walkout participants signed a petition against the non-hire and ended the rally with a prayer.

Law experts say the school was within its rights to not extend a job contract. The state’s civil rights act prohibits hiring discrimination based on reasons that include sexual orientation but makes an exception for religious institutions.

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