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Catholic school vice principal forced out over same-sex marriage

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — The sudden resignation of a beloved swim coach and school administrator because of his gay wedding has shocked the students and staff at Eastside Catholic School.

zmudaKids were so outraged they marched into the streets in protest.

The fact that Vice Principal Mark Zmuda is gay isn’t the issue, the school said. The problem Eastside Catholic has with Zmuda is that he married another man – even though same-sex marriage is legal in Washington.

“Mark’s same-sex marriage over the summer violated his employment contract with the school,” the school said in a letter sent to parents. “As a Catholic school, Eastside Catholic abides by the official teachings of the Catholic Church, and as such, the decision to discontinue his employment was determined by the Catholic Church.”

The student demonstration against the decision began inside. Students at the religious school skipped classes to protest what they believe is Zmuda’s forced resignation.

“We’re all here for him; we accept him for who he is,” said student Julia Burns. “We’re ashamed that this has happened. We’re going to do everything we can to stop it.”

But their protest soon moved to the streets, where nearly 100 kids lined 228th Avenue shouting cheers in support of their former vice principal.

Zmuda has been working for nearly a year at Eastside Catholic School.

Zmuda married his partner in July shortly after same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state.

Mike Patterson,  a lawyer for Eastside Catholic, said that church teachings don’t approve of same-sex marriages.

“Mark understands when he agreed to work for a Catholic school, one of the requirements is you have to follow the magisterium (the authority that lays down the religious teachings) of the church,” Patterson said in a statement.

Once the school discovered Zmuda was married to a man, he resigned, effective Friday.

But clearly the students at Eastside Catholic believe that mentality is outdated.

“Why fire someone for that reason, that’s not a good reason to fire someone,” said student Josh Huff. “That’s why we’re having the protest, it doesn’t seem right to me.”

“I think it’s an issue because I thought people saw past this at this point,” said Burns. “It’s now been a law in Washington state and the fact that our school, Catholic or not, can’t see past what’s right or wrong is disgusting.”

Some kids say they plan to gather signatures in a petition – and present that to the Archdiocese of Seattle in an effort to get Zmuda’s job back.

Plus, those students won’t be coming to class on Friday. Their Christmas break begins early because of snow in the forecast – and the emotional day everyone had on campus Thursday.

23 comments

    • Guest

      Maybe he should go back to school to learn about the difference between reproduction and digestion. For some reason deviant behavior is acceptable? Good for this school to stand up for what is right.

  • SMH

    Wow. You two are quite the pair. Care to tell us about your deviant sex lives, your "behavior" and your choices? I'm pretty sure if we dug into your lives, we'd find some pretty disgusting twisted things. He was not having sex with his partner in front of the kids at the pep rally and trying to get them to sign up for the Homosexual League. He was doing his job – which he appeared to be doing very well. If your mind goes straight to making immature uneducated comments about how he has sex, then you are the ones with the problem, not him.

    • Bob

      You all are amazing and your hypocrisy is down right pathetic. This is a Religious school and to attend it one must have their family choose it as it is not a "public" school. So you all bash them for being intolerant yet it all of you who are intolerant. So according to many of you- they cannot practice their own beliefs. They must practice yours. Get a fricking clue you hypocrites. You are disgusting. You demand others respect your choice to live whatever or how ever you want to live your life then Condemn others for doing the same thing. What a bunch of whiny egotistical idiots.

    • fightforright

      He made a decision to not obey the rules. He should be fired…. Easy enough. No homosexual especially in education should be with children if they don't understand the purpose of the anus. It is to rid the body of waste, not to be used between deviant men.

  • layla

    the teacher broke the law. to work for a private school you have to fallow the rule of the church and by marrying another guy he broke a rule. just like if a teacher was caught doing drugs he would get let go for breaking a rule. it the same thing. he commited a sine arrounding to the bibe and that was church is based off. i agree i am glad he resigned as well. there are reason we send our kids to private schools

    • SMH

      Interesting. He committed a mathematical function near a screaming banshee?
      It's great 'you send your kids to private schools' (though I'm not sure why you find it so necessary to have them learn bigotry and intolerance and hatred) – but it's too bad – you should've used the $ to educate yourself.
      If the teacher was caught doing drugs, he might get fired for breaking the law. Marrying someone of the same sex is NOT breaking the law. It does go against the narrow-minded outdated views ("rules") of the Catholic Church.

      • fightforright

        Sad that you don't see the bigotry and hatred in your comment. Oh yeah I forgot you can't be a bigot or hate because you are a sexual deviant… Sad when people think it is okay to flaunt their behavior and lifestyle. Since there is no and I mean absolutely no scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetic it is a behavior. If it was genetic it would have died out long ago. Isn't AIDs from using the digestive track in an unnatural manner???

    • overed

      You should inquire as to whether they have any student openings in that school – you could certainly use more time in a remedial English class.

    • ohsotired

      I am hopeful after reading the comments of the students – they are understanding that people don't choose who they love and to punish them makes no sense. Far more christian perspective IMHO. Perhaps the Catholic Church hierarchy should take note that their future congregations will likely walk away when they become working adults. No doubt the VP broke the terms of his contract and had to go.

  • Drew

    Everybody. Is so excepting of gays in church now .. Hmmm I'm thinking you guys need to read the bible again you know the part where God condemned those who gay .. What will we say god will except next can't wait ..let's just keep changing the bible yeah that's it .. At least there one church that still follows gods word ..

    • SMH

      Expecting? What is everybody expecting?
      You really need to read the Bible again. And this time, instead of picking out all the ways in which you can validate your hatred of others, try to focus on the parts where you learn about not judging…and treating each other with love, and kindness. I don't think anyone is trying to change the Bible. They probably just want you to read it with an educated mind, using common sense. It appears you would rather use it as a weapon.

      • HumanistJohn420

        To be fair the bible does condemn homosexuality. The bible is a piece of trash that contradicts itself so much it is impossible for anyone to actually follow it completely. You have to cherry pick the parts that align with your views otherwise it's just not possible.

      • fightforright

        I think you should read the bible where it explicitly states that men shouldn't sleep with men. The Bible is really the first science manual. Look at all the diseases that come from that deviant behavior. Funny how the Bible understood what the anus was supposed to be used for.

        • trueb0b

          Hmm. Isn't that part the part that was for Jews so they could follow the covenant God made with Abraham? Didn't Jesus fulfill that covenant and release them from it? Wasn't Jesus' message one of love and tolerance? Didn't Jesus embrace sinners, and refute the right of people to judge others? I think you don't know much about the bible my friend, because the answer is yes. I find that the common characteristic that bigots of all ilk share is self importance. God is quite capable of his own enforcement, he doesn't need of want your input.

  • benebeth

    The guy knew what would happen, it's in his contract. He doesn't have a say or vote, that's at the public school. Good luck with that.

  • Chris

    I think these schools need to be a little more careful. These kids are not dumb and know right from wrong for the most part. These kids know this man being forced to resign is wrong and if these schools aren't careful they will have school shootings because of things like these. If something like this happened at the school I went to then the Administration probably would have been forced out because the kids aren't going to put up with that bullshit. Stupid stuff like this is going to make this Country even worse.

  • big gene

    nothing new here, more hate and intolerance from another church, which tolerated child molesting priests for years but that was OK

    • fightforright

      Really sad that the Priests were homosexual. Really sad that the homosexual behavior has invaded all parts of peoples lives in a detrimental manner.

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