A Catholic School Fired A Beloved Teacher For Marrying. Here’s How His Students Responded.

Zmuda swim teamThe Catholic Church just loves to fire LGBT teachers, particularly a crucial events in their lives. There’s the case of Carla Hale, who was canned because she listed her partner in his mother’s obituary. There’s Tippi McCullough, who was fired an hour after her wedding. There’s Ken Bencomo, who got the pink slip for marrying his partner. And most recently, there’s Michael Griffin, who was shown the door just for applying for a marriage license.

The ostensible reason for getting rid of teachers who have worked for a decade or more at these Catholic schools is that they violated Church teaching. (Would that the administrators were as concerned when priests were violating students.)

So, it’s probably no surprise that Mark Zmuda was forced to resign as vice principal at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, WA, because he married his partner. What happened next, though, proves how out of touch the administration is with its own students.

The students staged a sit in. Then they walked out in solidarity.

Approximately 400 students were so upset and angered at the school’s action (at the order of the Archdiocese of Seattle) that they essentially shut down the school. The swim team, which Zmuda coached,  brought a banner to its swim meet proclaiming its support for him. Flustered administrators were so caught off guard that they end up closing cancelling classes and closing the school early for Christmas break.

Not only were Zmuda’s own students upset. The forced resignation led to a sit-in at another Catholic school, Seattle Prep.

The actions aren’t just in support of Zmuda, who is by all accounts a great teacher. It’s in support of marriage equality, which should have the hierarchy really concerned.

“Just because I’m Catholic doesn’t mean I need to believe every rule the church has,” freshman Sophia Cerino told the Seattle Times. “We think the rule over gay marriage is totally unfair. Everyone seems to think the same thing — that we should all be treated equal.”

That’s the future speaking. Let’s see if the hierarchy, including the Man of the Year, listens.

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  • dustashed

    I’d agree with sophia. Being Catholic does not automatically makes us against same-sex marriage. I may be a bit biased because I am a gay man, but speaking from a personal experience with my often “homophobic” friends from college, knowing someone who is gay almost automatically crushes the desire to oppose same sex marriage once they know someone who they care for is gay.

    It’s not fair, ie that they had to “know” someone first before they had a change of heart on this issue instead of supporting it as a basic human right from the get go.. but that’s the way it often is. I am just glad that the zeitgeist is shifting in our favor.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I applaud the students, especially the Catholic students, who told this diocese where to stick their church teachings! All people Catholic are waking up to the fact that the Catholic church does not save them… the death, resurrection, and total forgiveness of sins by Jesus Christ saves them! Quite frankly, outside of worship together (not including political propaganda) and social settings, there is no need for a church! The world is waking up to that fact! So be it!
    George M Melby, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain (Ret.)

  • yaoming

    Who are they judge? to

  • yaoming

    That didn’t come out quite right. I was trying to paraphrase the pope: “Who are they to judge?”

  • jckfmsincty

    The Catholic Church continues to implode by becoming increasingly irrelevant.

  • MK Ultra

    Individual catholics are one thing. They can be reached out to, but for anyone to believe that the Catholic corporation has changed in any way…You’re fvcking stupid.

  • coffeeaugur

    Catholics have always been forward thinking … they are the original Church of Jesus the the Christ … all other Christian religions are break aways …. Look up the definition of Catholic, it is comprehensive, universal … so it is about time they started leading the way to the future.

  • scoobydube

    And my Parish Pastor “wonders” WHY attendance AND the collection baskets are SO low each and EVERY Sunday ???

  • D P

    Gotta say, LOVE these students! It *almost* gives me a renewed interest in catholicism, but then sensibility returns.

    Still subscribe to Christopher Hitchens & Sam Harris’ positions. They said it. I believe it. That settles it!

  • Cam

    Interesting that the school doesn’t seemed concerned with any other area of Catholic doctrine but the one that allows them to hate. I don’t see them firing any other teachers for the multitude of breaches of doctrine happening in their lives. As long as you are hetro nothing else matters apparently.

  • jar

    @Cam: Yep. Let’s not forget that masturbation, extra-marital sex, sex with birth control are all prohibited by catholic teaching. Does anyone believe the other teachers are not equally guilty of violating church doctrine?

  • Rosanne J. Gunter

    as Gladys responded I am taken by surprise that a person can earn $5949 in 1 month on the computer. you could check here…

  • NoelG

    @coffeeaugur: I think you need to account for the Orthodox Churches.

  • Ruhlmann

    @NoelG: Syrian Orthodox is generally considered the first cult to the mythical Jew, Jesus. It’s language was Aramaic, it formed in the holy land by proselyte Jews. Fuckers.

  • stephen walker

    Disagreeing with an ideology is neither expressed nor implied hatred. The Roman Catholic Church as an institution is made up of imperfect humans just like any other institution. However, it is one that is based on a philosophy that cannot sanction homosexuality as morally correct. If every Muslim, atheist, heterosexual, and homosexual has the right to hinge on to what they believe, it follows that every institution or person has a right to enforce that belief without being called a hater. If Catholics dot support homosexuality, it shouldn’t be a problem. It is their belief and shud be respected, just as equally as gay rights should. In this case the church has the right to dismiss a person who acts contrary to their written ideology, simple

  • MK Ultra

    @stephen walker: Are you fvcking kidding me, bro?
    The Catholic institution lobbies against even the most basic rights for gays.
    They spread vicious lies about LGBT that lead to violence.
    Stop misrepresenting your and the Catholic corps extreme hate by calling it a “different philosophy”. Simple.

  • stephen walker

    While i agree that there are people that “hate” homosexuality, it is also a matter of ideology. We ALL have an intolerable dedication to one idea or the other. Hence, we are all prejudiced in that we reject all opposing ideas. A muslim cannot expect Americans to live under sharia law just because thats what they believe. The American institution will promptly deny that right. In the same way, the Roman Catholic cannot be expected to accommodate homosexual ideas if it is against the very literature it is based upon. If your define it as hate, than we all hate, homosexuals and heterosexuals alike

  • MK Ultra

    @stephen walker: Really?
    More like the US can’t give Islam in the US special rights to operate outside of US law. Just like it can’t give the Catholic church in the US special rights to operate outside of US law, which is what you’re proposing.
    BtW, would you agree that gays should have the right to fire catholics or religious conservatives because they disagree with the right wing philosophy?
    Or does your “non-hateful philosophy” only apply to special rights for your religion?

  • 2eo

    @MK Ultra: Of course it only applies to his religion, he’s the same idiot who think people without religion can’t be moral because all morality comes from a dead guy and some [email protected] god.

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