A Catholic school teacher was fired after he applied for a marriage license with his gay partner. The Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania fired Michael Griffin after he applied for a marriage license in New Jersey, according to NBC News on Dec. 7.
The school claims that Griffin’s plans on marrying his partner “contradicts the terms of his teaching contract.” Griffin has a long relationship with the Holy Ghost School. He attended the school as a student and then came back to teach Spanish and French and has been a teacher at the school for the past 12 years.
Griffin said his gay relationship was not a secret and that his partner had gone to many school functions with him, including ones held at the school headmaster’s home. Father James McCloskey, the headmaster, released a statement which included:
“At a meeting in my office yesterday, teacher Michael Griffin made clear that he obtained a license to marry his same sex partner. Unfortunately, this decision contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment. In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony. Regretfully, we informed Mr. Griffin that we have no choice but to terminate his contract effective immediately.”
Griffin is correct when saying he was fired because of his plans to marrying his partner, the headmaster acknowledges this in his statement. Father McCloskey also explained that the school is very welcoming to teachers who embrace different life styles. That is apparently until they want to marry the person who they love.
Father McCloskey continued with his statement saying he believes that it was the teacher’s code of conduct clause in his contract that led to his firing stating:
"That, 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."
Griffin posted the news about his termination on his Facebook page on Friday morning. Since that time, he’s had an outpouring of support. Griffin still can’t get over this, he feels blindsided, as he and his partner felt like welcome members of the school community. Griffin, who said he loved teaching at the school, is sad to go. He thanks everyone for their overwhelming support.
Griffin is planning to hunt for employment at another school. His thoughts are of securing a new position, “hopefully sooner rather than later,” said the ousted teacher.