(COLUMBUS DISPATCH) — The firing of a gay physical-education teacher from a Columbus Catholic high school would be a violation of a city ordinance if a complaint were filed and investigators determined the dismissal was based on her sexual orientation.

Carla Hale of Powell, who worked at Bishop Watterson High School in Clintonville for 19 years, said she was fired in March after an anonymous parent complained that an obituary for Hale’s mother listed the name of Hale’s female domestic partner.

The dismissal caught attention after students and other supporters started an online petition on Monday to seek her reinstatement. The petition at change.org had gathered more than 9,000 signatures by early yesterday evening.

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