John Murphy’s story


Equality Virginia stands by John Murphy, who was fired by the Richmond Catholic Diocese for being gay and married to his partner of 30 years.

We believe no one should be fired for who they love or how they identify. If you agree, help us make sure the Richmond Catholic Diocese understands discrimination like this is unacceptable in Virginia by signing our letter.

Here are the facts:

Like many Virginians, Mr. Murphy contacted us months ago letting us know about his story. He was hired as Executive Director by the lay Board of Directors of the St. Francis Home. The Home is a nonprofit, assisted living facility for persons of limited financial means regardless of race or creed, owned and financially operated by the Richmond Catholic Diocese.

After Mr. Murphy turned in his employee benefit paperwork, Bishop DiLorenzo demanded the board fire him because he has a husband. The board refused because they were already aware that John is gay and found him the best fit for the job. In fact, board members resigned in protest of Bishop DiLorenzo’s decision. Regardless, the next day John was terminated solely because of his marriage to the person he loves.

At the time he spoke to us, we told him what we tell everyone each time we get one of these calls - there is no law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Virginians from being fired. But earlier this summer, the EEOC released a new ruling in Baldwin v. Dep’t of Transportation that reasoned discrimination based on an employee's sexual orientation was a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

When Mr. Murphy and his lawyer decided to challenge his firing based upon this new opinion, EV joined his efforts. Hear Mr. Murphy share his story in the video below:

John Murphy's Press ConferenceWatch John Murphy's press conference, hearing his explanation on the discrimination he faced from the Richmond Catholic Diocese as he was fired for being gay and married to his partner of 30 years.If you disagree with Bishop DiLorenzo's decision to fire John because he is gay - sign onto EV's letter by clicking the link below!https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/bishop-dilorenzo-end Posted by Equality Virginia on Thursday, October 15, 2015

How can you help?

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.

Add your name to our letter to Bishop DiLorenzo asking for an apology to Mr. Murphy and a pledge to end discrimination against gay employees at its affiliated organizations in Virginia..

Already, over 600 fair-minded people have signed! By signing and sharing the letter, we can show our support for Mr. Murphy and stand for equality.

Media and press:

And as you might have seen, the story has made it around the country! Here's what the press has to say about it: