CINCINNATI - Parents and students of a Tri-State Catholic school are taking action after an administrator was fired for voicing support for gay marriage.
A petition in support of former Purcell Marian High School assistant principal Mike Moroski has collected more than 7,500 signatures. The petition was delivered to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Friday afternoon.
The online petition was started on Change.org by a Purcell Marian student after Moroski was fired this week. It requests the Archdiocese allow Moroski to stay at the school.
Moroski's dismissal stems from his stated support on his website that "gay people SHOULD be allowed to marry."
After making the post on michaelmoroski.com , Moroski was told to either remove the post and sign a form recanting his belief, or resign. He did neither.
The former school administrator says he was told by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that he was fired because he was promoting an idea that is in contradiction of the Roman Catholic Church.
A newly-formed group of Moeller High School alumni and other community members is also showing support for the fired educator. Moroski Advocates for Human Equality says it supports the freedom of expression and human equality.
Moroski worked at Moeller High School for 10 years prior to working at Purcell Marian.
Purcell Marian students and families delivered the petition to Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at 2 p.m. They were joined by Moroski Advocates for Human Equality.
The petition states:
"I would like to respectfully express my disappointment with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati with the decision to fire the Dean of Students at Purcell Marian High School, Mike Moroski, on the grounds that he expressed his belief that gay marriage should be legal. I must say my faith in the integrity of the leaders of the Archdiocese has been severely tested. The Church is the foundation for justice, and this ultimatum against Mr. Moroski seems to be the exact opposite. It violates his right to speak freely, to advocate human rights, to inspire, teach, guide, and assist his students. It is also a threat to everyone who believes as he does to keep their mouth shut or be punished. This act of the Archdiocese is an act of tyranny, not justice, or love, or peace, or freedom. As a great leader once said, "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love." (Dr. Martin Luther King) I am telling you how I feel because I believe that the Church is better than this act would demonstrate. The Church has been responsible for so many truly wonderful things; it has helped the meek and it fights for justice. I hope that eventually in this instance it will rise and stand for justice once again. With the utmost respect, hope, and love, please return Mr. Mike Moroski to Purcell Marian. "
To view the full petition, visit https://www.change.org/petitions/archdiocese-of-cincinnati-don-t-remove-mike-moroski-as-dean-of-student-life-at-purcell-marian .
In response to Moroski's dismissal from Purcell Marian, the Human Rights Campaign, which is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization in the nation, released the following statement Monday afternoon.
"It's truly unfortunate that standing up for marriage equality has apparently cost Mike Moroski his job. HRC admires his commitment to equality and hope that it continues. While the school that employed Mr. Moroski is run by the Catholic Church and thus has a First Amendment right terminate employees like Mr. Moroski who hold beliefs that differ from church policy, that does not make their decision to do so right, since 59 percent of Catholics support marriage equality," stated HRC vice president Fred Sainz.
The Archdiocese communication director Dan Andriacco has previously told 9 On Your Side that since the situation at the school was a personnel matter, neither he nor the Diocese could comment on it, other than to confirm termination of employment.
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