While most of Florida was celebrating Tuesday's arrival of gay marriage, Archbishop Thomas Wenski was busy drafting a memo reminding all employees of the Archdiocese of Miami that they could be disciplined for publicly supporting gay marriage.
"Whatever the role in which you serve within the Archdiocese, you publicly represent the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese in everything you do and say," Wenski wrote in his memo. "Therefore, it is important that you understand the Church's position and are well informed."
Wenski then attached a portion of the employee handbook that states, "certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action, including termination, even if occurs outside the normal working day." He then suggested that even posts on social media could be worthy of disciplinary action.
Not truly a surprise considering the Archdiocese, under socially conservative Wenski, is actively opposed to same-sex marriage.
It's also important to remember that not all employees of the archdiocese serve in religious roles or are necessarily practicing Catholics. Employees range from janitors and lunch ladies at Catholic schools to property managers and accountants who handle the church's business.
The memo left many wondering if that means any employee who supports gay marriage could be fired. Wenski was busy traveling this week but did send an email to the Miami Herald:
"Not to be flippant, but I don't think Coca-Cola would look favorably on an employee promoting Pepsi products or disparaging Coke products on or off the job site," he wrote.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.