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September 21, 2015

Fired Waldron Mercy teacher invited to White House for papal visit

Margie Winters was let go from Catholic school in July; supporters say dismissal was due to her same-sex marriage

A teacher at Montgomery County's Waldron Mercy Academy, who was allegedly fired for being gay, has been invited to the White House for Pope Francis' visit to the United States. 

According to the Associated Press, Margie Winters was asked by an LGBT advocacy group to help welcome the pope when he arrives at the presidential residence Wednesday. 

Winters told AP she hoped to speak to the pontiff and ask him to spread a message of inclusion.

Winters, 50, did not have her contract renewed by the Catholic school this summer, a move that she and supporters claim was made because of her same-sex marriage, which she reportedly disclosed to the school when she was hired in 2007. 

The Archdiocese has denied having anything to do with the decision, however, Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a statement following the dismissal that there was "nothing controversial" about the decision and applauded the school for keeping with Catholic teachings.

In August, supporters of Winters delivered a petition to the Archdiocese with more than 20,000 signatures protesting the firing. 

The White House has stirred controversy, especially among conservatives, for inviting a slew of LGBT groups to greet the pope when he arrives in the U.S.

For more on Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, check out PhillyVoice's complete coverage here