Holy Ghost Prep teacher: I was fired because I'm gay

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December 6, 2013 9:06:19 PM PST
A gay teacher who worked at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem says he's been fired from his job because he applied for a license to marry his partner.

Michael Griffin went to school at Holy Ghost Prep and taught French and Spanish at the school for 12 years. He said it was no secret he was gay, but when he applied for a marriage license today, he said he was fired.

He tells us, "I can't believe it's over like that."

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.'"

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."

We tried to contact Father McCLoskey and Principal Danilak but our emails haven't been returned.

A spokesperson for the school tells Action News the school has no comment at his time.

Holy Ghost is a private all boys liberal arts Catholic high school. It's not part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Griffin believes a particular section of the teachers code of conduct led to his firing. It 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."

Griffin says, "The school to me has shown their true colors so I don't know if I... I certainly don't want to work there again after I've seen how they treated me."

Griffin doesn't know what he'll do next, but he says he needs a job.


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