Petition seeks restoration of Bucks County teacher fired over same-sex marriage


Deciding to get married is a life-changing choice. For one Bensalem teacher, it was a choice that cost him his job.

Michael Griffin was dismissed from his job at Holy Ghost Preparatory School last week after the administrator at the Catholic school learned Griffin planned to marry his same-sex partner. But one Bucks County man is hoping this is not the end of the story.

Daniel Simon, 19, didn’t go to Holy Ghost Prep and he doesn’t know the fired teacher. But the Yardley resident was troubled when he heard what happened.

“It came across my Twitter feed and having gone to George School, which is a Quaker School, tolerance was a big thing there, so we take things like that seriously,” Simon said.

Simon started a petition calling for the school’s administration to reinstate the teacher.

The Rev. James McCloskey, Holy Ghost’s president, issued a statement that the teacher’s contract was terminated because his plans to marry his same-sex partner contradict the terms of the teaching contract at the school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church as a condition of employment.

Simon contends the administration is selectively enforcing.

“Such that it discriminated against him because he’s gay and not against a straight teacher who got divorced or remarried or doesn’t go to church every Sunday or a number of other ‘Catholic teachings’ that are routinely ignored or have a blind eye turned toward them,” he said.

It’s frustrating to see that while there’s a growing acceptance for homosexuality and gay marriage, “people are still acting as if it’s a problem,” Simon said.

Holy Ghost Preparatory declined to comment on the petition, which now has more than 3,000 signatures.

Griffin’s firing seems to be part of a trend. “New Ways Ministry,” a group for LGBT Catholics, said 14 other LGBT teachers have been fired from Catholic schools in the past two years.

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