Holy Ghost Prepatory High School teacher Michael Griffin was fired last week after the school's administration learned that he and his partner had applied for a marriage license in New Jersey.
Now, a host of supporters have begun advocating on Griffin's behalf by signing a petition on change.org calling for the administration to reinstate Griffin to his position, immediately.
The petition was created by Daniel Simon of Yardley, Pa., and to date, has garnered more than 3,000 signatures. In his written plea for support, Simon referenced Pope Francis' recent comments on homosexuality before citing his own thoughts on the subject.
"If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge," Simon wrote on change.org. "At a minimum, the school owes him an apology for their bigotry and discrimination. In today's era of growing acceptance and tolerance, such obvious discrimination is unacceptable. "
Griffin said he is both surprised and overwhelmed by the show of support.
"It's overwhelming," Griffin said. "It's very flattering, and I feel honored that people care so much about me and about this issue."
Griffin was fired last Friday because the school administration said his decision to apply for a marriage license violated a clause in his teaching contract.
According to school administration, Griffin violated the teacher’s code of conduct, which states:
"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."
While Griffin said he is grateful for the support, he's not so sure that the petition will help him get his job back.
"I honestly don't think it'll help. I don't know. It could, but I doubt it. I think that the morals clause that they used—you know saying that you can't do anything in your lifestyle that's sort of contrary to Roman Catholic beliefs—that pretty much sealed it," he said.
"But ever since I've been fired people have been advocating for it, you know, for me. I mean it would be nice to have that offer back because I really love the school, and the students that I taught, and the teachers that I worked with there. But I just don't know."
Griffin is an alumnus of Holy Ghost and had taught Spanish and French at the school for the past 12 years. Griffin says he's started looking for a new teaching position at another school.