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After outcry, Catholic school renews lacrosse coaching offer

September 21, 2021 GMT

LISLE, Ill. (AP) — A Catholic school in suburban Chicago reversed course Tuesday, offering a job to a girls lacrosse coach that had been rescinded when school officials learned the woman is in a same-sex marriage.

A day earlier, word of the rescinded job offer sparked outcry at Benet Academy in suburban Lisle, which is about 25 miles from Chicago. Dozens of alumni, parents and students met outside the school to support Amanda Kammes. Thousands signed a petition.

Benet Academy officials acknowledged in a Tuesday statement that they’d withdrawn the head coach offer after learning Kammes was in a same-sex marriage. But the board determined her “background and experience made her the right candidate for the position.

Her experience includes coaching in Pennsylvania, where she led a team to two state titles.

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“We had an honest and heartfelt discussion on this very complex issue at our meeting,” the school said in a statement. “Going forward we will look for opportunities for dialogue in our community about how we remain true to our Catholic mission while meeting people where they are in their personal journey through life.”

School officials said Kammes accepted the job.

In an emailed statement, Kammes said she was humbled by the support and hoped that the LGBTQ community at Benet and other Catholic institutions felt supported and loved.

“The past week provided a chance for Benet to rally together in the name of community, sportsmanship, and social change, and I’m beyond grateful that Benet reconsidered their decision,” she said.