Gay Catholic School Teacher Fired For Getting Marriage License Application

The educator was told that his marriage license violates his teaching contract.

Photo Credit: rSnapshotPhotos/

A Catholic high school teacher in Pennsylvania was fired after he applied for a marriage license in nearby New Jersey.  MSNBC reports that the teacher, Michael Griffin, was told that his marriage license violates his teaching contract at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, PA.

The decision to apply for a marriage license “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,” the school said in a statement.  “In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision in his contract, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony.”  The Teacher’s Code of Conduct for the school states that they expect teachers to “uphold lifestyles” that were “compatible” with what the Catholic Church teaches.

Griffin, who appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word last night, taught Spanish and French at the Catholic school for 12 years. In a Facebook post, Griffin said he was “hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words.”  He said that while he knew about the terms of the contract, his relationship with his partner was known to the school.

The decision is legal under Pennsylvania state law, which does not have a anti-discrimination provisions for discrimination based on sexual orientation.  House Democrats are pushing for a national anti-discrimination employment law that would protect the LGBT community. The Senate passed a version in November.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.