Gay teacher learns lesson

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The nuns taught me that lying is a sin.

But telling the truth got Catholic school teacher Michael Griffin fired.

The Mount Laurel, NJ resident lost his 12-year job teaching French and Spanish at Holy Ghost Preparatory School ("A community of one heart and one mind") in Bensalem, Pa. after acknowledging that he and his longtime partner planned to marry.

Civil marriage for same-sex couples recently became legal in New Jersey, but remains an abomination at Holy Ghost,  where the administration claims it had no choice but to fire Griffin for violating his contract.

Griffin, 35, says he had long been open about his partner, Vincent Giannetto; the two men attended school-related functions together and even invited a Holy Ghost administrator to attend their civil union ceremony in 2008.

But the fact that Griffin and his partner planned to obtain a marriage license apparently was just too much for the good folks at Holy Ghost. Which suggests something about the status and stature of  a "civil union."

That a private, religious institution can claim the legal right to fire an employee for the sin of wanting to get married reminds me of a phone call about my recent column supporting same-sex marriage. 

"Just because it's legal," the caller said, "doesn't make it right."

Same goes for the firing of Michael Griffin.

--KEVIN RIORDAN

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