MIAMI — A gay schoolteacher has been fired by a Miami Catholic school after marrying her same-sex partner in an apparent violation of church rules, church officials said.
Archdiocese of Miami officials confirmed to the Miami Herald that first-grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi lost her job at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School on Thursday, the day after she returned from her Florida Keys wedding.
“This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi said in a post on social media. “In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
Several parents say they were surprised and upset at Morffi’s firing, which they learned of in a letter from the school Thursday evening. About 20 parents went to the school Friday morning to demand an explanation.
We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal and they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom,” said Cintia Cini, the parent of one of the children in Morffi’s class.
Cini told the newspaper the parents didn’t know Morffi was gay, but they didn’t care about her sexual orientation.
“Our only concern was the way she was with our children, the way she taught our children and this woman by far was one of the best teachers out there,” Cini said.
She said the principal spoke to each of the parents but did not give a reason for the firing.
The school didn’t respond to a request for comment, but archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta confirmed Morffi broke her contract under church rules of conduct.
“As a teacher in a Catholic school their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Agosta said. “One has to understand that in any corporation, institution or organization 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.”
Morffi worked for the school for almost seven years. She also coached basketball and ran a volunteer organization called #teachHope70x70 that takes students around downtown Miami on weekends to distribute meals to the homeless, said Morffi’s friend, Katerina Reyes-Gutierrez.
Samantha Mills, whose child was in Morffi’s class last year, told the Herald that many parents continue to be outraged. “This teacher in particular has made such a contribution to the school. She never imposes her personal beliefs on others. She just does everything in love. She has a way of teaching that is so amazing.”
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Florida by a 2015 judicial ruling. Florida doesn’t have a statewide law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. A Miami-Dade County ordinance that protects LGBT residents from discrimination exempts religious institutions from certain provisions.
Since they're not a persecuted group (anymore) I feel like I can get away with saying this. I don't fuck with the Catholic Church. Never have, never will. Even though I am a low key God guy, I think they're stupid af. Too much corruption, and kid rape for my liking. I can deal with some corruption, but the decades upon decades of diddling is where I draw a line in the sand. If there is a God (something I can be swayed on both ways) I really don't think he gives a shit about all the stupid rules the Catholics think are so important, there are much more important things than what you eat on Fridays. Just my two cents. Did you know that the reason Catholic priests and nuns can't get married because back in the olden days when they did, after they died their possessions would go to their spouse? Church didn't love that. Now this way their possessions go to the Church. It's all based on greed. Heard that like 15 years ago and am not about to fact check it right now.
However knowing the Catholic Church and all their rules I cannot say this story comes as a surprise. A Catholic School (which I'm assuming is private since public religious schools don't really exist) has the right to make rules like this. The article clearly states that she broke her contract which I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it had a "you can't be gay" clause which was clearly violated when she married a lady instead of a fellow. I don't know if you know this or not but the Catholics are not too big of fans of the gays.
If anything positive can be taken from this situation it's the outcries of support Jocelyn received.
"Several parents say they were surprised and upset at Morffi’s firing, which they learned of in a letter from the school Thursday evening. About 20 parents went to the school Friday morning to demand an explanation.
We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal and they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom,” said Cintia Cini, the parent of one of the children in Morffi’s class."
I'd have to imagine after this news broke that there will be a handful of schools offering her a job just to show how with today's times they are. Schools shoudn't dgaf about who a teacher sleeps with as long as it isn't the students and they are good at their job, which by all accounts seemed like Jocelyn Morffi was.
Part of me wishes this situation worked like sports, you'd love to see a rival religious school going after her, offering her jobs to spite the Catholics. Are there any Protestant schools in Miami looking for a first grade teacher? Cause a newly married, low key sexy (I know that doesn't matter for teaching but facts are facts) teacher just hit the free-agent market and is looking for work. I'm sure Jocelyn won't be unemployed for too long.