On December 17th the Catholic archdiocese of Seattle fired Mark Zmuda, the vice principal of Eastside Catholic high school. The archdiocese justified the firing by stating that Zmuda's marriage to another man violates church teachings and as a school administrator he is required to uphold those teachings. After the firing students at Eastside Catholic high school and surrounding Catholic schools began to protest and staged walkouts. The students made it clear that they would not accept the firing of one of their favorite teachers. Eastside high school students began to spread the word on social media. Hundreds of other Seattle area Catholic high school students began organizing their own protests to show their solidarity. Over 400 students, which is almost the entire student body, eventually occupied the cafeteria at Eastside high school.
Sr. Mary Tracy, Eastside Catholic high school president, resigned earlier this week after ongoing backlash from the firing of Mark Zmuda. Fr. John Whitney, the Jesuit pastor of St. Joseph's Parish in Seattle, spoke in support of students in a homily earlier in the week. If more Catholic priests who love, welcome and support the LGBT community would show that support publicly rather than behind closed doors we most likely would see the change that Pope Francis has been speaking about. To believe that Pope Francis is unaware of this firing, as well as the countless others, would be naïve.
As LGBT Catholic school teachers, administrators and lay people in ministry continue to be fired for marrying the person they love we will also continue to see our young Catholics stand up and truly live the gospel by showing unconditional love to all.
GLAAD will continue to keep you up-to-date about the incredibly loving actions of the students of Eastside Catholic High School.