Rage headache time. A gay teacher from Pennsylvania was fired from his job at a Catholic high school recently. Not for being gay, mind you. Nope. He was fired for applying for a marriage license so he could marry his partner.
Michael Griffin taught Spanish and French at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania for 12 years, and was always open about his sexuality. This is also the same school he attended as a child himself, so I think I’m safe to assume that at least some of the staff knew him pretty well. His sexuality was never an issue, until he decided to marry his partner and went to apply for a marriage license. It was then that principal Jeffrey Danilak and school president Father James McCloskey called him in for a meeting. According to Griffin:
“I really didn’t think that it would happen. At our school we talk about it’s a community. Our motto is “One heart, one mind.”
Danilak reportedly asked Griffin whether he was entering a same sex marriage and when Griffin said yes Danilak told him that if he would have no choice but to fire him.
According to Griffin’s long time partner Vincent Giannetto:
“We applied this morning and on the same day he’s fired from his job. So it kind of flipped things upside down for us.”
Griffin says he was fired for breaking the school’s code of conduct, which reads:
“Although, the School welcomes teachers from other denominations and recognizes their rights to religious freedom, as employees of a Catholic institution, all teachers are expected to uphold lifestyles compatible with the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Now, I understand that by working at a Catholic school, Griffin must have know this was a possibility. This is the standard excuse I see in the comments section every time I read a story like this on the internet, and I have no doubt I will see them here as well. But he worked there for 12 years as an openly gay man. The school KNEW he was gay. Why is it okay for him to “live in sin” with another man for years, but suddenly not okay when he wants to marry that man and “make it official”? Why cherry pick what rules they want to follow?
Hopefully this media attention this is getting will help Griffin find another job, but it’s sad that he has to for something as simple as living his damn life.