A gay Catholic school teacher was fired from her post for marrying her fiancee after photos from the wedding were posted online.
Jocelyn Morffi, of Miami, Florida, was a first grade teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School for seven years before she was fired when she got back from her wedding day.
Photos of Jocelyn’s wedding were posted to Facebook, alongside a video of her dancing with her partner for the first time as a married couple.
According to the Miami Herald, Morffi was fired the day after she returned back from the wedding, so posted to social media in protest.
She wrote on Instagram:
This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result.
In their eyes I am not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.
However, many parents of children at the school did not support the decision, which they found out about via a letter.
Roughly 20 parents gathered outside the school on Friday to demand a proper explanation from the school principal.
Cintia Cini, a parent of one of the children in Morffi’s class, said:
We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal, they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom.
Our only concern was the way she was with our children, they way she taught our children and this woman, by far, was one of the best teachers out there.
Cini said the parents didn’t know about Morffi’s sexual orientation but said they didn’t care whether she was gay.
Hey @JocelynMorffi My sister and I both went to SPPS for K-8. We support you. That is all.
— Rich Olexa (@richolexa) February 11, 2018
The school haven’t made a statement defending the decision, but Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman, Mary Ross Agosta, said:
As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children.
One has to understand that in any corporation, institution or organisation there are policies and procedures and teachings and traditions that are adhered to.
If something along the way does not continue to stay within that contract, then we have no other choice.
A terrible act by @sppslife to fire @JocelynMorffi, by all accounts an outstanding teacher and beautiful person, after Jocelyn's recent wedding to her wife. Our obligation is to be thoughtful, kind, and decent, and to teach children the same. #ForShamehttps://t.co/hC62vHwn2i
— Ben Hickey (@RevBenNJ) February 12, 2018
Florida lifted the ban on same-sex marriages in 2015 but in response to the move, Archbishop Thomas Wenski reminded employees, all those in employment under the Church – which includes school teachers – are expected to abide by Catholic teachings.
Tony Lima, executive director of the South FLorida LGBT rights group SAVE said:
I think it’s shocking in this day and age this continues to happen in South Florida.
It’s important to continue educating the community that this kind of stuff happens in this day and age.
But it’s even more important to pass comprehensive statewide protections.
Pretty ironic/embarrassing tweet given the recent firing of Jocelyn Morffi.
— Christopher Elias (@cmelias) February 10, 2018
Parents have vowed to protest the decision with some saying Morffi had made ‘such a contribution’ to life at the school.
One parent has even said she’s considering withdrawing her child from the school based on their decision.
The decision of the school is reprehensible but the real story here is the outpouring of love and support for Jocelyn and her decision.
The community of the school rallying around this teacher in a time of crisis is where the true lesson lies.