Acanfora Makes Last Appeal
BRICK TWP -- Joseph Acanfora 3d says he will attempt for a third and final time to gain reinstatement as a teacher in the Montgomery County Md school system.
School officials there transferred Acanfora, a former Brick Township high school valedictorian and later failed to rehire him after they learned that he was an avowed homosexual.
Acanfora, contacted yesterday at the 102 Sprucewood Drive home of his parents, said he has received word that the Nationa1 Education Association (NEA) will fund his third appeal of the decision not to rehire him -- this time to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court ruled~ three weeks ago that Acanfora s failure to mention his membership in a homosexual education group at Penn State University was grounds for Montgomery school officials not to rehire him.
With the support of both the NEA and the American Civil. Liberties Union (ACLU), Acanfora filed suit in U.S. District Court.
District Court Judge Joseph Young in his decision last year ruled that Acanfora’s homosexuality itself was not grounds for taking away his job, but his public acknow1edgement of it, including appearances on television, was an abuse of his “duty of privacy,” the judge said.
The Circuit Court decision last month rejected the lower court ruling that Acanfora had a “duty” to hide his private life from students. But the higher court said that Acanfora’s failure to mention his membership with Homophiles of Penn State, a group of homosexuals and heterosexuals trying to educate others about homosexuals, on his application for employment in Maryland was grounds to uphold the decision.