A Philadelphia-area teacher was fired from his job at a private school because he applied for a same-sex marriage license—despite the fact that his sexuality was common knowledge at the school.
"Today I applied for a marriage license since NJ now has marriage equality," Michael Griffin posted on his Facebook page. "After 12 years together I was excited to finally be able to marry my partner. Because of that, I was fired from Holy Ghost Preparatory School today. I am an alumnus of the school and have taught there for 12 years. I feel hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words."
ABC Local reported that Griffin, a resident of New Jersey, taught French and Spanish at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pa., where it was well known within the school’s administration that he was gay.
Griffin said he emailed Holy Ghost’s principal, Jeffrey Danilak, early this week saying that he was applying for a marriage license and might be late Friday. He was then called into the office of school president Father James McCloskey, where he also met with Danilak.
Griffin recalled the conversation. "He said, 'It's not really a secret here that you're gay.' I said, 'Correct.' He said, 'I assume this is a same-sex marriage.' 'Yes.' He said if I go through with it, he had no choice but to terminate my position."
"I've been with my partner for more than 12 years, the entire time I've been teaching at the school," Griffin told NBC Philadelphia. "He's been to numerous school functions with me, he's even been to McCloskey's house."
The teachers’ code of conduct specifies that “all teachers are expected to uphold lifestyles compatible with the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” Griffin’s marriage was apparently the sticking point.
“At a meeting in my office yesterday, teacher Michael Griffin made clear that he obtained a license to marry his same sex partner,” McCloskey wrote in a statement. “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."
"I can't believe it's over like that,” Griffin told ABC.
Despite that fact that he now needs a job, Griffin said, "The school to me has shown their true colors so I don't know if I... I certainly don't want to work there again after I've seen how they treated me.”