Eastside Catholic High School: get divorced or get fired

Last month GLAAD told you about Mark Zmuda, the former vice principal of Eastside Catholic school in Sammamish, Washington who was fired after school officials found out he had married his husband. ne of Zmuda's former students released a video where Zmuda states he was told he could keep his job if he got a divorce. 

Zmuda’s termination from the school drew worldwide attention and sparked a sit-in by Eastside Catholic high-school students and at other local Catholic schools including rallies and protests.

During the 16-minute interview with one of his former students, Catrina Crittenden, Zmuda said, “Apparently the fact that I have a same-sex partner and (am) having a same-sex marriage ... they are against that.

“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.” On the video, which was posted on YouTube Saturday, Zmuda also said he didn’t resign but was terminated — contradicting a persistent claim by the school’s attorney, Mike Patterson. Tracy referred calls to Patterson, who said Zmuda’s statement about the divorce was untrue. Patterson acknowledged he was not present for that particular conversation but said Tracy raised the idea of divorce with Zmuda only as a hypothetical question, along the lines of “would you consider a divorce ... I don’t even know if that would work.”

There was no doubt that we would hear more about Zmuda's story.

On social media, Eastside students, alumni and a widening pool of supporters have continued to rally for him. On Saturday, they held a rally outside the offices of the Seattle Archdiocese and are planning other events, including something they are calling nationwide “Z” day, asking students and others across the country to wear orange, one of the school colors, on Jan. 31 in solidarity with Zmuda. “We will continue to write letters, lobby Church officials, and use any other means at our disposal to respectfully work toward our ultimate goal of changing the discriminatory attitudes regarding homosexuality in the Church,” local students said in a statement.

It is important to point out again that young Catholics are standing up for their beliefs and understanding of Catholic social teaching. They are not willing to be silent while the Roman Catholic hierarchy condemns LGBT people and their families. In fact, they are adhering to the requests of Pope Francis to "make a mess in your diocese". 

The Seattle Times has more on the story.