Mark Zmuda was a beloved vice-principal and swim coach at Eastside Catholic High School in the Seattle area, until last month. That’s when his school canned him for marrying his male partner. Now, in a just released video, Zmuda says that the school offered him the chance to keep his job–if he divorced his husband.
“Apparently the fact that I have a same-sex partner and (am) having a same-sex marriage … they are against that,” Zmuda says in the interview with a former student. “But I also thought another teaching they were against was also divorce. I’m a little shocked that was even on the table to have me keep my job. They also offered for me to have a commitment ceremony if I were willing to get a divorce.”
Zmuda was fired for violating Church teachings. Under those standards, Sister Mary Tracy, the school president, should be fired for advocating divorce, which is forbidden in the Catholic Church.
For its part, the school’s attorney, Mike Patterson, says the nun floated the idea “as a hypothetical question.” Kind of like, “Would you mind if we destroyed your marriage for the sake of appearances?”
Meanwhile, it turns out that Zmuda’s firing came about from an innocent remark he made to another teacher who was inquiring from colleagues about a florist for her wedding. Zmuda mentioned his own wedding, which in the best tradition of the Inquisition led to his execution.
Zmuda’s students continue to stand behind him. On Saturday, they participated in a rally outside the Archdiocese’s offices in Seattle, protesting the firing. The school, however, has apparently decided to crack down on dissidents. In a letter to parents, the school said any student protesting Zmuda’s firing would face disciplinary action. Fortunately for the students, divorce is not yet an option the school can offer as penance.
Photo credit: Eastside Catholic via AmericanLiveWire