Gay Marriage | News | Pennsylvania

School Fires Gay Teacher After He Applies For Marriage License

An openly gay teacher who was on staff at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Pennsylvania for 12 years was suddenly fired from his job yesterday - the same day he and his long-time partner applied for a same-sex marriage license.

WPVI reports:

GriffinMichael Griffin says he emailed the principal of Holy Ghost Prep earlier in the week saying he may be late Friday, that he was applying for a marriage license. After an in-service day he says he was called into the office of School President Father James McCloskey, along with Principal Jeffrey Danilak. Griffin explains, "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."

In tears, he left. His over a decade-long tenure at Holy Ghost was over. "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.'"

His partner, Vincent Giannetto, tells Action News, "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."

Holy Ghost is an all boys Catholic high school located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

Griffin has started to receive support from all across the country. He took to his Facebook account to show his appreciation:

“Thank you to everyone for all of your messages of love and support since yesterday. It is so overwhelming and my heart aches over everything that has happened. Holy Ghost helped form me to be the person that I am today. Even though I am no longer employed there, I wanted to share their mission and philosophy, because I feel like I have tried to make it my life's philosophy as best I can, even now. I am trying to move forward with a peaceful heart and wish nothing but the best to my colleagues and students who mean the world to me.”

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  1. Sorry... but why would a gay man teach at an all catholic school and then be surprised when he's fired? I know it's not right, but... Come On!

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 7, 2013 6:58:53 PM

  2. Why are our taxpayer dollars being given to subsidize a religion that fights against and discriminates against us? In many states, Catholic schools receive federal lunch support and technology assistance. My state also gives them free textbooks. The time has come for us to demand that these bigots be removed from the taxpayer's dole.

    Posted by: Hal | Dec 7, 2013 6:59:41 PM

  3. I don't see why everyone gets so upset with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptists because it's pretty damn obvious that most of Christianity also believes that 'God hates fags', but they don't say it, they just fire people and discriminate against them however they can. In actuality, their ACTS of cruelty and repression are much worse than the Phelps' mere words.

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 7, 2013 7:12:05 PM

  4. This is the iron fist of Catholic bigotry in action. Whenever I read an article about a shameful action taken against good, dedicated people by the RC hierarchy , I remind myself about the all-too-real disgrace of the various Catholic scandals that keep unfolding. Having recently seen "Philomena", I've learned of a new one: baby trafficking for profit.

    Posted by: Joseph | Dec 7, 2013 7:13:21 PM

  5. Why would a gay or lesbian teacher want to work for a RC school in the first place? Tenure means nothing if the price is your queer soul. There are other schools, public and private, where they could live happy, fully actualized lives and be valued as educators.

    Posted by: Roger | Dec 7, 2013 7:34:39 PM

  6. I have very little sympathy for any gay person working within a Catholic institution who cries foul when the bigots fire their ass. What did they expect...that the haters would suddenly see the light and throw them a party?!

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 7, 2013 7:35:52 PM

  7. If they knew he was Gay why didn't the fire him before now?

    Posted by: Kim | Dec 7, 2013 7:44:14 PM

  8. He's just lucky he's a grown man. That "principal" might have tried to touch his bathing-suit area.

    Posted by: FFS | Dec 7, 2013 7:59:47 PM

  9. Someone so clueless shouldn't be in the teaching profession.

    Posted by: Merv | Dec 7, 2013 8:07:03 PM

  10. Ughhh!!! Vote number 205 for WTF do all these people think this won't be a big deal at a Catholic institution. Hell- Notre Dame just sued over birth control being in health insurance policies.

    Hell the all religious schools is to discriminate against those who are either not of t afford are either not of the faith or cannot afford tuition. So discriminating against gays really is par for the course.

    Posted by: robroy | Dec 7, 2013 8:09:02 PM

  11. The Church is "obsessed" with gays. "Who am I to judge?" Someone, can't put my finger on it, mentioned this.

    Posted by: escapes me | Dec 7, 2013 8:24:49 PM

  12. ummm… Ever heard of ENDA?

    Posted by: Andy | Dec 7, 2013 8:26:35 PM

  13. ENDA isn't law, and, even if it were, specifically exempts religious schools.

    Posted by: Merv | Dec 7, 2013 8:48:41 PM

  14. Now here, in this forum, we have the cry of why was he working at a Catholic school and why are our Federal Tax dollars being used to fund such a school and a call for them to be stopped. But we won't call for an end to our funding and the funding by American sponsors of the Sochi Olympics.

    You can't win for losing.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Dec 7, 2013 8:58:06 PM

  15. "Who am I to judge" was a simple shrug of 'his' shoulders and a goy Meh!

    That's why nothing has changed.

    Posted by: Ethel | Dec 7, 2013 9:20:45 PM

  16. @Ken: I could possibly see some rational for
    terminating him if he were teaching religion, but what about math or physics? Saying you can't teach physics because you are gay and are getting legally married puts this Catholic institution on a par with Nazi Germany, where the political types didn't want anyone using "Jewish physics". So when the guys working on their atomic bomb project needed to use the equation E=cm2 to calculate the amount of energy that would be released, they had to make sure the idiot political types didn't notice. Since the idiots didn't understand physical laws, this was not hard to do. Probably writing the equation as E=mcc would have been enough.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 7, 2013 9:26:02 PM

  17. Note: the equation that appeared as E=mc2 was written using an HTML element that should have turned the '2' into a superscript - apparently Towleroad's software strips off HTML elements but leaves what is in between. Someone was not thinking.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 7, 2013 9:29:02 PM

  18. For those saying that they have no sympathy for someone who works for a Catholic school, realize that it's not all that easy to get a full time teaching position in the school of your choice. His choice to stay there may have had to do with salary and location, which are both valid concerns. Let's not forget the fact that he was pretty much "out" since he started teaching there. They didn't have a problem with him being gay. But being gay and married was a bit too much, apparently. I can definitely empathize.

    Posted by: Matthew | Dec 7, 2013 9:39:45 PM

  19. Griffin can't be so dumb that he didn't know that taking such a public stand against Catholic teaching would cost him his job. Gay people who work for the Catholic Church, and that includes the majority of her priests, know that they have to live on the DL. If you become too public about your homosexuality or divorce and remarriage etc, you will lose your job. If Griffin has his State Teaching Certificate, and with his 12 years of experience he should be able to get another teaching job. There are a lot of great Public School Districts that pay more money, have better facilities and are not bigoted like the Roman Catholic Church.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 7, 2013 9:43:57 PM

  20. There is no such thing as a "Same-Sex Marriage License" Please make a note of it.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Dec 7, 2013 9:46:53 PM

  21. It's screwy, messed up, and just plain wrong that gay teachers get fired from RC schools when they get married. But it will continue to happen as long as the RC Church condemns same sex relationships and activity. And they are not going to change soon. It took almost two millennia for the RC church to condemn slavery. They still discriminate against women.

    Posted by: john patrick | Dec 7, 2013 10:30:43 PM

  22. This is another example of why I left the Catholic church.

    It has the morals of the US Confederacy.....

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Dec 7, 2013 10:44:31 PM

  23. Bensalem is Rick Santorum territory, very rich in conservative Catholic values.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 7, 2013 11:14:37 PM

  24. This guy sounds like such a sweetheart, maybe a little naive, but very special all the same. Best luck, and you'll have it, making a better life for your and your new husband. And congratulations, you did the right thing, they did the wrong thing.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 7, 2013 11:15:24 PM

  25. So Michael Griffin was the only person in North America who didn't know that the Catholic Church opposes gay marriage? Hello? Nobody is that clueless.

    Posted by: Jim | Dec 7, 2013 11:28:28 PM

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