SEATTLE — Students continue to protest after their vice principal is forced to resign for getting married to his gay partner.
Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish says the issue is not that he is gay but that the Catholic doctrine does not accept the marriage. A marriage that is now legal in Washington.
Vice Principal Mark Zmuda violated his contract with Eastside Catholic when he married his gay partner over the summer.
“The students love him, good guy, great teacher and good administrator,” Eastside parent Katie Myers.
The Catholic Church does not approve of same-sex marriage so when he was forced to resign, it took no time for students to protest and challenge the church.
“It’s grown bigger than him — it’s grown as a movement from stopping things like that from happening,” student Falen Wilkes said.
“Their flock, their schools, this entire generation of Catholics disagrees with this rule. What’s the point of having it? Why in God’s name is it still here,” student Cole Fischer said.
Students from several other Catholic schools have joined the fight.
“You know, risk getting detention to be in solidarity with Eastside Catholic,” Fischer said.
A petition on change.org already had more than 18,000 signatures by Friday night.
“I hope this doesn’t stop here. It’s been two days and we have thousands and thousands of people all over the country and all over the world are supporting us,” one student said.
Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray also addressed the crowd.
“As a gay man I grew up in a family that has Catholic values,” Murray said.
Murray says he didn’t show up to argue about the Catholic doctrine but about what was fair.
“Challenging church doctrine wouldn’t be my place, and I wouldn’t do it as a Roman Catholic, but I do think we need to challenge when people are not treated fairly in the workplace,” Murray said.
Students are determined to stand their ground until Zmuda is back.
“When we get back from winter break, we will keep protesting. I doubt we will go to school the first day,” said one student.
Attorney Michael Patterson, who is representing the schoo< released a statement.
“Eastside Catholic School and its Vice Principal have agreed with mutual regret on his resignation from employment. The Catholic Church is clear on same-sex marriage and the school has no discretion in the matter. We very much appreciate his many contributions while he has served as our Vice Principal. We anticipate his excellent future at another school and we wish him the very best of success.”
Q13 Fox News also reached out to the Archdiocese of Seattle but got no response as of Friday night.