While the Vatican discusses family, another gay Catholic loses his job

Equality Virginia has created a petition asking for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia to apologize to John Murphy, a gay Catholic man who was fired from his position as executive director at St. Francis Home, a diocese-owned assisted living home. The MoveOn.org petition also calls for the diocese to pledge to not discriminate against other gay employees at its affiliate organizations. Currently, there are 375 signatures with the goal of reaching 400 signatures.

Murphy was hired in March and at the time was given confirmation by the St. Francis Home's board of directors that his same-sex relationship was not problematic. Yet, he was dismissed after handing in his employee benefits paperwork, which notified Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo that Murphy has a same-sex spouse.

“I expect to be judged by my job performance, but I am appalled and deeply hurt that the Bishop of the church I grew up in would suddenly fire me solely because of the gender of the person I share my life with – a person to whom I am lawfully married according to the U.S. Supreme Court," said Murphy. "It is shocking to me that this can happen in 2015 in America, and I fear for my financial survival if any employer can do this to me at any time.”

According to the MoveOn petition:

Religious organizations have a protected right to make decisions about hiring and firing people who are ministers, and can teach or spread faith free from government interference. But for positions that do not involve ministerial duties, such as leading the St. Francis Home, our longstanding laws against discrimination apply to both religious and secular organizations.

John Murphy has filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) based on the discrimination of his sexual orientation. He is currently waiting for the EEOC's ruling of whether or not the employment termination was a form of discrimination.

Join John Murphy, Equality Virginia, and many other supporters by signing the petition here.

GLAAD has been advocating for the stories of LGBT Catholics to be heard. In preparation of Pope Francis' arrival in the United States, GLAAD released a resource guide to reporting on Pope Francis and the LGBT community of faith for media professionals in English and Spanish. Also, GLAAD was in Washington, D.C. at President Obama's White House reception for Pope Francis and on the ground in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. During the papal visit GLAAD led the #TellThePope campaign which provided a platform for voiced experiences of LGBT folks or allies to be heard.