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Lesbian teacher fired from Catholic school

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LOWER MERION TWP., Pa. -

A staff member at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania is without a job after she was apparently fired for her same-sex marriage.

Margie Winters, who has been a staff member at Waldron Mercy Academy since 2007, never hid the fact that she married her partner in 2007, reports ABC affiliate WPVI.

The school's principal released a letter this week alluding to Winters' marriage to a woman as a conflict.

The letter stated that "[Our] school recognizes the authority of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, especially in the teacher of religion to...to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings."

But on Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued a statement that said the academy is a private Catholic school and decisions are made without the oversight of the Archdiocese.

Winters served as the school's religious education director.

More than 100 parents and community members met on Wednesday to show their support for Winters, who received a standing ovation from the crowd and even led the group in an opening prayer, WPVI reported.

No members of the school board were present at the meeting.

Organizers say this is only the beginning as they will continue to work to get Winters her job back.

According to State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), sponsor of the Pennsylvania Senate's Marriage Equality Bill, Waldron receives state funding that might override the religion exemption of the township ordinance.

"The ordinance says you cannot take state money and discriminate if you're a religious institution," said told WPVI.

According to Waldron's website, the school received $270,000 from the state's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

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