The administrators of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami fired popular first–grade teacher Jocelyn Morffi because she married the love of her life and then posted wedding photos on social media.
According to local media reports, Morffi, who has taught at the school for seven years, got married to her girlfriend of two years last weekend. She posted her wedding photos on Facebook, and on Thursday, she was fired.
The school’s principal, Carlota Morales, sent a letter to parents announcing the firing this week, NBC4i reported. A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami accused Morffi of violating her contract, which likely is a reference to a “moral turpitude clause”—a vague and subjective concept usually reserved for people who commit felonies or otherwise “shameful” behavior.
“When a teacher is in a Catholic school and signs a contract it is expected the policies, procedures, teachings, and traditions of the Catholic Church will be respected and honored,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
Morffi responded to her firing by writing on social media, “This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result. In their eyes I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”
Several parents whose children attend the school reacted to Morffi’s firing with outrage and confusion. One mother described telling her son that Morffi would no longer be his teacher, and the boy cried.
“You know, to be a Catholic, you’re taught to be forgiving. But if you’re gay, forget about it,” parent Cynthia Cini told NBC.
“We were completely outraged, all of the parents,” Samantha Mills told the Miami Herald.
The newspaper shared more details about what kind of teacher Morffi is:
Morffi worked for Sts. Peter and Paul for almost seven years. She also coached basketball and ran a volunteer organization, called #teachHope70x7, that takes students around the downtown Miami area on weekends to distribute meals to the homeless, said Morffi’s friend Katerina Reyes-Gutierrez.
Florida lifted its ban on same–sex marriage in 2015, but there is no statewide law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the Herald reported. Plus, religious institutions are exempt from some provisions of a Miami-Dade County ordinance protecting LGBTQ residents.