Michael Griffin was fired from a Catholic high school Friday for applying for a gay marriage license. Credit: Facebook
A gay foreign language teacher at Holy Ghost Preparatory School for boys in Bensalem was fired Friday after he attempted to marry his long-time partner.
Michael Griffin, an alumnus who taught at the Catholic school for the past 12 years, was accused by school administrators of violating his contract after he applied for a same-sex marriage license in New Jersey. He lives in Mount Laurel.
On his Facebook page Friday, Griffin said that "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," he wrote. "I feel hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words."
NBC Philadelphia obtained a news release in which Ghost headmaster Rev. James McCloskey said faculty are required to follow church teachings both in their personal and professional lives.
McCloskey added that Griffin's decision "contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment. In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony."
According to NBC, Griffin, who taught Spanish and French, said he did not hide his relationship and lifestyle from his co-workers and school community. He said he even brought his partner to McCloskey's home in the past.
On his Facebook page Saturday, Griffin said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for his friends and colleagues.
"It is so overwhelming and my heart aches over everything that has happened," he said. "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."