Michael Griffin attended Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania as a high school student and has taught French and Spanish at the school for twelve years. He has never made a secret of the fact that he is gay. Everyone at the school knew it and it was never an issue — until he applied for a marriage license in New Jersey.
Griffin was summoned to the office of Principal Jeffrey Danilak on the same day he applied for his marriage license. Danilak said to him, “It’s not really a secret here that you’re gay.” Griffin acknowledged that it was true and Danilak said, “I assume this is a same-sex marriage,” to which he also replied, “yes.”
Danilak then informed him that if he went through with it he would have to let him go.
Griffin left the office with tears in his eyes He thought that his school was more understanding and tolerant than that. He had never suspected that marrying his long time partner would mean the loss of his long time job.
He told WPVI news, “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 said, “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.”
The school has declined to comment on Griffin’s firing but Griffin says that he believes that they relying on a section of the teachers code of conduct which reads:
“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.”
On his Facebook wall Griffin posted this:
“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. [email protected] or [email protected]”
Although Griffin says that he is not sure he wants to work for the school anymore after being treated this way we would encourage all to send an email to Principal Danilak expressing support for him and disapproval of the way the school has treated a loyal teacher.