Catholic Church | Gay Marriage | Washington

Catholic High School Students Protest Firing Of Principal For Marrying His Husband: VIDEO

Eastside Catholic School protest

Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington has a problem on its hands. Mark Zmuda, the former vice principal of ECHS, is gay. What's more is that Mr. Zmuda married his partner Dana Jergens last July, approximately seven months after same-sex marriage was made legal in the state of Washington. However, the Archdiocese of Seattle determined that Zmuda's actions were in violation of the teachings of the church and thus were grounds for termination.

This decision was not well-received by Mr. Zmuda's students or co-workers, many of whom broke into tears at the news. Then, the students showed the bishops that they do not have the grip on moral authority that they think they do. Rather than accepting Mr. Zmuda's termination, the entire student body staged protests, chanted "Change the church", and took to Twitter with the hashtag #KeepMrZ2013 to spread the word of their dissatisfaction.

Students from the school and within the diocese are collecting signatures in hopes that they can restore Zmuda to his position as vice principal.

Watch a news report on the massive protests, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Now, that's a hot princiPAL.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Dec 21, 2013 9:34:43 AM

  2. I hope the student body succeeds, causing education disruption on prejudice alone is wrong.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 21, 2013 9:53:33 AM

  3. So the church position is that its "religious liberty" allows for it to prohibit others from exercising their civil rights. Hmm, amazing. Can the church now prohibit employees from voting? Also how many other employees had to give up civil rights? how many divorced and re-married employees got fired? how many employees married to spouses of different religions got fired? Is the church truly enforcing its religious liberty the same way for all employees?

    Posted by: Nigel | Dec 21, 2013 9:53:48 AM

  4. I wonder if all the people complaining about A&E putting Phil Robertson on suspension will also show up to stand for this guy. After all, they are both people who got fired for expressing different religious beliefs than their employers.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 21, 2013 9:55:43 AM

  5. He looks kinda like what Zac Efron will look like at that age.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 21, 2013 9:56:57 AM

  6. They should write to Pope Francis and see what he says.

    Posted by: Owens | Dec 21, 2013 9:57:24 AM

  7. It's over, haters. You've really lost the younger generation. It's not only Catholic kids, it's evangelical kids too.
    Focus on your own marriages and leave gay people alone.

    Posted by: woody | Dec 21, 2013 10:10:17 AM

  8. Mike:
    They are Catholic kids who are not interested in duck sheet and rednecks. They have more class than that. They rather watch Glee which they may relate to.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 21, 2013 10:32:31 AM

  9. This story is so completely indicative of the growing gulf between the local Catholic powers-that-be and the general public, particularly the younger generations in their schools.

    As long as Mr. Z (as the students call him) was a DADT gay, they were fine with him. (Closets aren't a problem for the hierarchy.) As soon as he was a public gay in a committed relationship, he had to go. And to the Catholic school kids, for whom a beloved teacher or principal marrying another adult of the same sex is normal and cool, these backwards values are just nuts.

    So, they in their supreme out-of-touch state can keep on firing gay people for the sin of having a family, because technically it's their right, or they can listen to their students and see the future. Their choice. Bravo to the students and community for taking a stand.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 21, 2013 10:34:21 AM

  10. @ Anon - my gosh, you're right.

    It really is great to see this. The haters days are numbered. The young people have no interest in their hate.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Dec 21, 2013 10:43:14 AM

  11. Was anyone, ever, disciplined at the school for some infraction that was in their terms "violation of church teachings"?

    Doubt it.

    This is just more bigotry & prejudice masquerading as religious fervor.

    Until the parents start withholding tuition checks, I don't expect a big change. The Episcopalians need to start opening schools.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Dec 21, 2013 10:51:10 AM

  12. I don't believe the younger generations are apathetic and can't communicate. I think truth and justice are more widespread than ever.

    Posted by: Steven | Dec 21, 2013 10:52:48 AM

  13. With students and fellow workers like these the fture looks good for Catolics that think for the good of people and not doctrine that is long out of date. The Catholic Church has a history of hypocracy throught the ages. Now let's hope their parents listen to the heart beat of their kids rater than superstician and mis interpolation of the bible to suite their narrow minded teachings of Today's Catholic Church..

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin the bleacher Preacher | Dec 21, 2013 11:01:22 AM

  14. What an uplifting story...and holy crap that is a hot daddy.

    Posted by: DrKRL | Dec 21, 2013 11:15:52 AM

  15. What an uplifting story...and holy crap that is a hot daddy.

    Posted by: DrKRL | Dec 21, 2013 11:15:53 AM


    Posted by: Patrick | Dec 21, 2013 11:24:41 AM

  17. This is in a suburb of Seattle. Seattle, as we know, is home of Macklemore, and is one of the most progressive, gay cities in the USA. This was never going to fly there, but countrywide, it's not flying anywhere. LGBT people are being fired from positions they've held for years, decades even, solely for being who they are and finding happiness. And people are rightfully disgusted that these individuals they love and have built close relationships with are being treated in such a way.

    The protests here, the similar ones seen in other similar cases throughout the country, the protests regarding Rev. Frank Schaefer who got defrocked for preceding over the marriage his son....religious bigotry isn't getting the free pass anymore.

    I do agree, though, with Pete. Nothing will change policy wise until people start LEAVING these Churches, whether they be Catholic or otherwise. According to polls, most Catholics are pro-gay and liberal across the board on social issues. Protests like these are a good start, but it's time to speak with the wallets.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 21, 2013 11:26:25 AM

  18. I'm so proud of these kids, and the parents, alumni and others who are supporting them.

    Posted by: SeattleMike | Dec 21, 2013 1:00:21 PM

  19. I'm sure some priest have a good headache today.
    This kids maybe don't have the power to change the teacher's firing, but they are the future of catholic church, and they can't continue to lose new generations if they want to survive.
    It seems Pope Francis is able to see this, but obviously, most on the hierarchy are totally blind

    Posted by: jjose712 | Dec 21, 2013 2:00:24 PM

  20. Millennial teens so totally get it. Amazingly so. Glenn effin Beck even said that his kids talk to him about how out of reality he is about LGBT oppression.

    Yay! Eastside Catholic kids!

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Dec 21, 2013 2:23:26 PM

  21. I understand the Pope is sending out a survey ...

    Posted by: Glenn I | Dec 21, 2013 2:25:23 PM

  22. Here's hottie Vice Principal putting on a gun show. That man should not be allowed to wear long sleeves. (His other arm is wrapped around his cute hubby.)

    Posted by: Ruddigore | Dec 21, 2013 2:37:31 PM

  23. It's incredible to see the student body rally behind this vice-principal!

    My Catholic high school fired a favorite teacher of mine in the days following him putting a rainbow bumper sticker on his car, and we all just watched it happen and said nothing. He also was the advisor of our Human Relations Club, which was as close to a gay-straight-alliance we could get at the time. That was '99.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 21, 2013 6:48:50 PM

  24. So let me get this straight, the Catholic church wants us single and slutty, rather than partnered and stable?? Just checking.

    Posted by: ty | Dec 21, 2013 6:50:10 PM

  25. good for these students! So much more mature and accepting than the adults in their school.

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 21, 2013 7:13:13 PM

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