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February 22, 2013

Cincinnati school official fired for pro-marriage blog post

Cincinnati--The Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati fired an assistant principal at Purcell Marian High School on February 11 for Facebook and blog postings supporting marriage equality.

Mike Moroski, a married heterosexual, posted a quotation from President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech supporting same-sex marriage on his Facebook page. He later posted an entry on his blog based on the discussion sparked by the Facebook presidential quote.

Four days after the blog post, the school’s principal was notified about it, and word made it up to the archdiocese, who told him to remove the posts, recant his position and make an action plan to live morally.

Moroski refused to remove the post and hired an attorney. He was in his second year at Purcell Marian after teaching for a decade at Moeller High School.

Students and parents from the high school delivered petitions to the archdiocese on February 15 to protest Moroski’s firing.

The archdiocese said that the blog post violated his contract, which requires him to act within the philosophy and teachings of the Catholic church. His attorney, however, says that there is nothing in the contract that justifies the violation of his client’s right to free speech.

“Mike’s position is completely consistent with some teachings of the Catholic church, perhaps inconsistent with other teachings. And their contract clause is not at all clear cut,” Randy Freking told WKRC. “I think the archdiocese is overreacting. And it seems inconsistent with how they treat themselves. They’re not firing every teacher who opposes their position on contraception, who opposes their position on capital punishment.”

Moroski noted that, while he believes gay people should be allowed to marry their partners, “I never in that post really, directly said I support gay marriage.”

“I wish, often times, that I had enough energy to care (even a little bit) who loved whom and whether or not they got married. My mind it taken up with far too many other things to care if someone wants to marry someone else,” he wrote. “As crass as that sounds, it’s true. I have to choose my battles.”

“Furthermore - I unabashedly believe that gay people should be allowed to marry. Ethically, morally and legally I believe this,” he continued. “I spend a lot of my life trying to live as a Christian example of love for others, and my formation at Catholic grade school, high school, 3 Catholic universities and employment at 2 Catholic high schools has informed my conscience to believe that gay marriage is not something of which to be afraid.”

“To me, it seems our time would be much better spent worrying about the economy, our city’s failing pensions, retaining our big business neighbors and finding creative, efficient, effective ways to fund our excellent Cincinnati Public Schools,” he concludes. “Not much time left over to worry about gay people marrying one another.”

Students at the school have organized other protests to show their support for Moroski.

“I was kind of mad, but it seemed like the very thing the Catholic church would do. So I was not surprised, but I was shocked that it would happen to him,” student Ian Applebee said. “It’s only right to be there for someone who’s always been there for so many. We will not give in. We’re going to make ourselves heard and we’re not going to forget.”

Moroski has already received a few job offers, and has said that he is considering a run for city council in 2017.

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