Michael Griffin graduated from Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Later, he taught foreign languages at the school for 12 years. And on Friday, he was fired.
He didn’t do anything wrong. There were no problems with his teaching. He just decided to get married to his long-time boyfriend and the school wouldn’t accept it. Griffin briefly explained the situation on his Facebook page Friday morning:
Today I applied for a marriage license since NJ now has marriage equality. 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. If you’d like to share your words with my principal or headmaster, please do. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To be fair, Griffin should’ve known this was coming. It’s not like the Catholic Church hides its bigotry (no matter how much Pope Francis tries to divert attention elsewhere).
A report from the Philadelphia NBC affiliate makes it sound like Griffin didn’t see this coming:
Griffin says an email he wrote to school administration informing them of he and his partner’s plan to obtain a marriage license is what opened the can of worms and ultimately lead to his firing.
He says that he was blindsided by the school’s reaction and that his relationship with his partner had never been a secret to faculity and administration.
That’s incredibly naïve. Why would you email your Catholic school administrators about your impending gay marriage and then act surprised when they remind you that they’re a Catholic school? Hell, we’ve seen Catholic schools fire single women for getting pregnant. (Though I have yet to hear a story about a single man who gets fired from a Catholic school for wearing a condom or having pre-marital sex.)
That’s not to condone the school’s actions — what they did was despicable. It’s the reason any person with a choice shouldn’t send their kids to a Catholic school or support the Church with their attendance or money. The Catholic Church and Holy Ghost Preparatory School and every other Catholic institution abides by these anti-gay policies. Until they change, they deserve to be spotlighted and condemned.
Griffin should’ve known better. I wish him the best with his marriage and finding a new job, but let’s not pretend like the school did something unexpected. If you work for a Catholic school, its leaders can fire you for loving the wrong kind of person. How is that surprising to anybody?
We’re not talking about a loving, tolerant, compassionate institution. We’re talking about the Catholic Church.