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Catholic school leader who ousted gay vice principal resigns

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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SEATTLE — The president of a Catholic school in Washington state who allegedly fired a gay vice principal becuase he married his same-sex partner, then suggested he divorce to keep his job, has resigned in the aftermath of the turmoil that followed that decision.

Sister Mary E. Tracy, SNJM

Sister Mary E. Tracy, SNJM

Eastside Catholic School trustees have accepted Sister Mary Tracy’s resignation, effective immediately. In an email sent to parents, staff and others on Tuesday evening, the school says a search for her replacement will begin immediately.

The email says, in part, “For Sister Mary it was a difficult but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is on a positive path forward.”

The suburban Seattle school and former vice principal Mark Zmuda have disputed the circumstances of his December departure, with Zmuda saying he was fired and the school saying he resigned after acknowledging that his marriage violated Catholic teaching and thus the terms of his contract.

Zmuda claimed that Sister Mary Tracy had suggested that he could get a divorce and keep his job.

For weeks, Eastside Catholic students and others have protested Zmuda’s departure.

Tracy was not immediately reachable by phone. School lawyer Mike Patterson said he had no additional comment.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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