John M. Becker

Catholic Students Protest Termination Of Gay Administrator

Filed By John M. Becker | December 19, 2013 5:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: Catholic Church, Catholic school, gay marriage, Mark Zmuda, marriage equality, Pope Francis, pro-equality Catholics, pro-LGBT Catholics, same-sex marriage, Washington

Here's your uplifting photo for the day:
Source: Steve Ringman/Seattle Times.

No, these high schoolers aren't waiting in line for a concert or cheering on their favorite football team. They're standing outside Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington chanting "Change the church!" They'd just learned that their vice principal was asked to resign when administrators found out he'd married his male spouse this summer.

Lornet Turnbull of the Seattle Times reports:

One student said the entire student body was protesting; students either walked out of class or never went. Many were crying along with their teachers.

Students said they were told the decision to fire [Vice Principal Mark] Zmuda was made by the Archdiocese of Seattle. They said they and students from other Catholic schools within the diocese planned to collect and submit signatures hoping to win Zmuda his job back.

Mike Patterson, spokesman for Eastside, said that by entering into a same-sex marriage, Zmuda violated teachings of the church, which he had agreed to follow.

Teachers at Catholic schools, Patterson said, sign contracts that they will abide by the doctrine of the Catholic Church, which opposes and forbids same-sex marriage.

"We just learned about it," Patterson said of Zmuda's marriage. "He understood he could no longer be employed there because of his current circumstances."

At a rally, one student questioned the decision given Pope Francis' recent statements regarding homosexuality.

"Just because I'm Catholic doesn't mean I need to believe every rule the Church has," freshman Sophia Cerino said. "We think the rule over gay marriage is totally unfair. Everyone seems to think the same thing - that we should all be treated equal."

The entire student body. Incredible.

Seeing this display of support for equality and solidarity against homophobic spiritual bullying warms this former Catholic's heart. Pope Francis would do well to listen to these brave students and drop the Catholic Church's anti-LGBT teachings for good.

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