Students rallied Thursday at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora to support a gay teacher who was fired after he married his partner.
Ken Bencomo, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga, was fired from his teaching position at the Catholic girls school after photos of his wedding to partner Christopher Persky, 32, were published in a local newspaper last month. They were among the first couples to be married at the San Bernardino County assessor–recorder’s office after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing gay couples to marry in California. Bencomo had worked at St. Lucy’s for 17 years and school administrators knew of his sexual orientation for most of that time, his attorney, Patrick McGarrigle, said. Former students said Bencomo was a popular teacher who was a mentor and involved in many school activities. They demonstrated in front of the school Thursday morning to show their support and demand he be rehired. “Come with powerful voices, ready to sing our Alma Mater and show the SL administration — ‘We Are That Change!’” the group’s Facebook page said. An online petition to reinstate Bencomo has gathered more than 49,000 signatures.