Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another Religious School Fires Gay Teacher for Marrying -- Gay Teacher is Surprisingly Shocked

I read this morning about an openly gay teacher from Bansalem, PA, who taught French and Spanish for the past 12 years at Holy Ghost Preparatory School. He and his longtime partner applied for a marriage license, which led to him getting fired:
Michael 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.'"
I feel bad for the guy, but I can't help but wonder why he didn't think it would happen. We read in the news all the time about gay and lesbian teachers who are regularly fired from private religious schools for getting married. Heck, we read too often about kids who are expelled from private religious schools for having gay parents. Why is it that each of these gay and lesbian teachers act surprised when their bosses toe the line with them?

I see this on the Gay Christian Network a lot, too. Folks who remain deeply closeted for years because they know they will get cut off from everyone who means anything to them if they come out as LGBT. They will lose their pastoral position or they will lose their teaching position or they will be kicked out of their college or they won't be able to sing with their choir anymore or they will lose their family. They spill their everything into those closeted professional and personal relationships -- hoping that others will be kind of them if they reach out for support, but knowing that most likely they will lose everything.

I feel bad for Griffin and his fiancé Vincent Giannetto. I hope they have a wonderful wedding and I hope Griffin finds a new job quickly. But I also hope he stays away from religious education in order to avoid future scenarios like this.


Katy Anders said...

I'm not surprised, but I'm also not entirely clear on how the marriage part of it became the last straw. I mean, Scripture doesn't actually say anything against same sex marriage, does it? I mean, if his employer could get past the gay thing, why would the marriage aspect cause trouble?

I know some people consider marriage "flaunting it" in a way that merely BEING gay doesn't do...

I'll never quite get it, because the thinking behind it is never going to be quite sensical.

Jon said...

Yeah, I was talking about this to Husband Mark today. It's not like the Catholic Church recognizes any marriage not solemnized in the Church as an actual marriage -- gay or straight. So if they can cope with the relationship itself, what does it matter if they're legally married or not?