John Murphy, 64, just wanted to work. He’d been in the nonprofit industry for decades, and when he was given a job at a local adult care facility, Saint Francis Home, he was excited to do what good he could for those nearing the end of their lives.
But when the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, who runs the facility where he was employed, found out Murphy was married to a man, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo sent representatives to his house to let him know he would be fired because of who he loved.
Murphy, a former Philadelphia resident, spoke with Philadelphia Gay News about his experience in a long form piece published last week. It adds some additional details to a situation which has since fallen off the media’s radar. We’ve got a while before the Equal Opportunity Commission hears Murphy’s lawsuit and returns with a ruling, but in the mean time, check out some backstory on Murphy and his husband Jerry Carter below, and read the entire piece here:
Murphy and Carter fell in love over a mutual desire to help others. They met at a party in 1985 in New York City. Murphy was in town on business and Carter was working as a clinical social worker in the bone marrow transplant unit of a local hospital.
Later, when the couple moved in together in Rittenhouse Square, they started attending Mass. They purchased signet rings and asked their priest to bless them and their union, which he did. Murphy remembered a nun who told him, “God doesn’t care who we love, just that we love.”
Murphy said he hopes more people will come to see how wrong it is for someone to lose his or her job because of being gay. He noted his case parallels that of Margie Winters, who was fired in June as a Catholic educator from Waldron Mercy Academy in Lower Merion because of her marriage to a woman.
“I hope more people like me will be emboldened to speak up about the unfairness and illegality of this,” he said, “and that it will have a ripple effect to eliminate all kinds of discrimination against LGBT people.”