The Cleveland Catholic diocese is planning to have teachers in its five high schools sign a “morality clause” as part of their contracts.
The morality clause governs teachers’ private lives to an extensive degree, but was agreed upon by the Academy Lay Teachers Association and the diocese.
According to The Plain Dealer, the new rules re-label teachers as “teacher-ministers” who are banned from sending email or texts that are “lewd, indecent, sexually suggestive, or pornographic,” also known as “sexting.”
The teachers are also not allowed to publicly support “direct sterilization,” which would include vasectomies. For those who do want children, they would not be allowed to publicly support in vitro fertilization.
The high schools covered by the new contract include: Lake Catholic, Cleveland Central Catholic, Villa Angela-St. Joseph, Holy Name and Elyria Catholic.
Bishop Richard Lennon reportedly told teachers in a letter, “Each and every teacher and administrator in a Catholic school, whether they teach religion as a subject or not, is called by the Church to model Jesus.”
There are also rules against homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.
According to Gallup poll in 2012, 59 percent of Catholics believed that sex between an unmarried man and woman was morally acceptable.
A 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center found that 85 percent of Catholics, ages 18-29, believed that homosexuality was acceptable.