Catholic School Offered Gay Teacher A Shocking Solution If He Wanted To Keep His Job

Mark ZmudaMark 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


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  • Southstguy

    Dear fellow gays,
    When you apply for jobs at Catholic schools, you’re asking for trouble.

  • Dakotahgeo

    What kind of god damn jackasses are these Catholic hierarchical bastards? They have no morals, no high ground, no common sense, and it looks as if they have no education! This cult needs to join the Mormons and be burned together… to the ground. Enough is enough!!!

  • DShucking

    I call bs on the shocking part. Gay christians know what they’re getting into when they join these institutions.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    Any student protesting the firing will face disciplinary action??? For being true to their convictions?????

    Hopefully the students parents back up their kids.

    Yet another example of blinded organized religion being the worst thing that ever happened to civilization.

  • avesraggiana

    Well, since Jesus had a lot to say about getting divorced and NOTHING to say about homosexuality, maybe the school should also fire teachers who are divorced. It’s in their “church teachings” after all.

  • samwise343

    I still don’t get why any gay person wants to be or remain Catholic. It makes no sense.

  • DShucking

    @samwise343: Maybe they pick and choose from the bible what they want to believe just like straight catholics.

  • M Pitt

    Such a cute daddy.

  • Ridpathos

    The irony here is that it is still okay for Catholic schools across the nation to fire teachers and administrators for simply being gay because it doesn’t fit their beliefs, but everyone and their mother throws a bitch-fit when a redneck gets suspended from his show for a grand total of about 2 days for being irrationally obscene to a number of minority groups.

  • SteveDenver

    Work for a hate group, expect hate.

    Is anyone actually surprised when gays and lesbians who work for religious organizations encounter unkindness and ugliness.

    Prediction: Gays and lesbians will continue to face bias and ugliness from religious organizations — especially Catholic — regardless of how wonderful a job they’ve done or how long they’ve been a part of the organization.

    Question: Why did you ever think it would be different?

  • AnitaMann

    No sympathy if you’re dreadful enough to work for an organization that openly targets and harms gay people.

  • guest4ever


    Mr. Moderator,

    Sounds like a terroristic threat to me and an incitement to violence.
    I’m copying it and sending it to the FBI.


  • Dakotahgeo

    @guest4ever: ROFLMBO!!! You old goat! The FBI and I are on a first name basis, lolol. You go right ahead, silly guy! Oh, the irony of it all! LOLOL.

  • showertile

    The marriage in question isn’t within the bonds of the Catholic Church so divorce doesn’t violate said tenet.

    On another note: the dude is super hot!

  • RomanHans

    I need to start going to confession — in his DIMPLES.

  • davidkidd2200

    the hypocrisy in the Catholic Church is legion, but hardly unique. Follow your personal beliefs, by all means, but if you are going to engage in “real world” pursuits such as health care and education, you should have to follow the law. Religious freedom does not excuse discrimination in the work place. They already get to skip paying taxes – that’s enough of a concession. We often forget that the separation of church and state in the US is a 2-way street. It not only protects the believer’s right to believe any silly damn thing, it protects the state from those often bizarre doctrines.

  • davidkidd2200

    And I agree – he is a hottie! I never had a teacher that cute.

  • Niall

    @Southstguy: This. Maybe it’s me being a dick, but I have no sympathy for gay people, either as employers or students who are at Catholic institutions, but then cry foul when stuff like this happened. You can’t really say you didn’t know the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality before signing up, you opened yourself up for it, so enjoy it.

  • MK Ultra

    Why are people making excuses for the Catholic church?
    This man was fired for something that doesn’t effect his job in any way.
    The Church fired him for his identity.
    That’s disgusting behaviour. We shouldn’t just sit back and say, “well, the CC is what it is. Gays should know better”
    That’s no right.

  • B Damion

    Mark Zmuda is giving me porn face in this pic. Come on. I am not the only one thinking it. right..right?

    Poor thang. How ever will he make it as an educated white man in America? Our prayers are with you Mark.

  • Sansacro

    @Ridpathos: Totally.

  • Sansacro

    @Niall: Sympathy or not. This sh&%t sets a bad precedent. We live in America and no institution should be allowed to get away with such acts of blatant discrimination, however couched in the lie of “religious freedom.” The best solution would be for parents to pull their kids out of these schools. You’d see how fast these MF’s would change their policies.

  • Sansacro

    @B Damion: The statistics for middle-aged men, regardless of race in this economy aint great, but why bother with facts when one can rely on generalizations and stereotypes and personal animus. Happy New Year!

  • DShucking

    @guest4ever: You’re being fucking ridiculous.

Comments are closed.