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Washington (State)

Catholic school that forced out gay administrator keeps lesbian music coach

Friday, January 10, 2014

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — A part-time musical coach at a Catholic school in Washington state who recently announced she is engaged to her same-sex partner said Thursday the school has given her a new employment agreement as an independent contractor.

Stephanie Merrow (right) and Jenny Frazier

Stephanie Merrow (right) with her fiance Jenny Frazier

Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish is the same school that recently forced out a vice principal who married his partner.

Stephanie Merrow said she was nervous before her meeting with the school’s principal, Polly Skinner, but it was “very warm and welcoming.

“She was very nice, she made me feel very valued,” Merrow said, adding, “I got a little raise.”

In response to her inquiry at the meeting, Merrow said she was told her marital status doesn’t matter.

The contract did not talk about Catholic teachings, she said.

School attorney Mike Patterson didn’t immediately return a call and email for comment.

Merrow is choreographing this year’s spring musical.

Students at Eastside Catholic have led protests recently over the departure of vice principal Mark Zmuda.

The school and Zmuda have disputed the circumstances of his departure, with Zmuda saying he was fired and the school saying he resigned after acknowledging that his marriage violated Catholic teaching and, subsequently, the terms of his contract.

Merrow got engaged shortly after Zmuda’s departure. She has said the timing of the engagement was a coincidence. Still, she said she wanted to go public to support the students who have been leading protests on behalf of Zmuda.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. Aaaand the uglier truth comes out.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:38pm
  2. Catholics and the rest of their ilk are hypocrites and if their is a supreme being she is one pissed off lady!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:40pm
  3. So relieved I’m not catholic.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:41pm
  4. Why is it more socially acceptable for two women to be together than two men? Seems like an old double standard to me. :-(

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:41pm
  5. I agree with you...

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:46pm
  6. women are sexualized alot more than men are , the idea of two attractive women together is whats accepted

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:59pm
  7. and, I think it's the sex acts that "bug" anti-gay folks re: men.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:04pm
  8. It's because of bad publicity from the last one.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:10pm
  9. Straight men always fantasize about having two lesbians in bed but unless they are actually bisexual,this won´t appeal to them at all,lol.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:38pm
  10. Because we men make all the decisions and apparently we're grossed out more by 2 guys than we are by 2 girls. Their primal ignorance makes sense really, when you think about how patriarchal our society is

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:51pm
  11. agree

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:55pm
  12. Chris, so true.........here in Montana we have tons of lesbians......but if you are a gay man.......they want you out!

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:57pm
  13. This world is run by heterosexual men. Most heterosexual males are sexist and extremely anti-homosexual (for males)... They find 2 men gross, but completely love the idea of two women being together... it's a stupid double standard.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:43pm
  14. because those ignorants are so ignorant that they think a lesbian can sleep with them and have 2 women at bed... this so fucking piss me off!

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 8:18pm
  15. Being Catholic is not the problem so much as being a legalist and deciding to “enforce” a “morals” clause in a contract that isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. I know when I taught in a Catholic high school we found out our contracts were no more binding than a handshake!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:53pm
  16. Stupid bastards

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:54pm
  17. lovely ladies…………!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:55pm
  18. Double standard

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:55pm
  19. Ridiculous

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:00pm
  20. Tara Thompson, no disrespect but i don’t entirely agree with your comment. Not all Catholics are like that. I am lesbian and a Catholic. I’ve had all my sacraments and participated in lent and other Catholic practices. Although, i do not agree with what some Catholics, Christians, or other religions say as they hide behind their “faith”. I do believe in a higher power but know that man was given the power of free will would add things they wanted to in the bible. The bible holds many truths but some contradict the supposed word of god. I as a catholic practice only what i believe to be right. Many people i have met preach anti gay an other bullshit when they don’t even know the 10 commandments and don’t pray or practice good parts of the bibles word. I am engaged to a woman who i am completely in love with and we have a 4 year old son who we raise together. We are teaching him to love endlessly, never hate anything or anyone, and be kind. If you dislike someone, please don’t bash the entire belief. Some act on their own and say its because of their Catholic belief when it isn’t true. No need to dislike an entire group of people when not all believe the same way.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:08pm
  21. Maybe because the school is run by a nun and the nun is secretly Lesbian.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:11pm
  22. Just a thought but as an independent contractor you are not technically an “employee.” I see it as a way to separate her from their normal staff.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:33pm
  23. Don’t work for Catholic Church and then expect them to be ok with you coming out!
    I am a lesbian and I wish it wasn’t this way but for now it is.
    Work somewhere else instead of complaining the oldest and ritualized church is against you being Gay

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:36pm
  24. Double standard or is one teacher more effective, seasoned, or tenured than the first?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:42pm
  25. In the UK because Queen Victoria refused to believe that lesbians were possible there was no legislation made against them. That law still stands legally in the UK. In terms of attitude there is anti-lesbian prejudice. Recognizable dykes can go through hell. I’ve seen it happen. Male homosexuality is a sin – 3 major faiths say this. This Catholic school affair is an exercise in hypocrisy. I’ve been with my gay male partner since 1977 and we’ve never wanted to marry. We reject the institution. Our love for each other is the important thing. Homosexuality will become completely acceptable within a few generations. Bi-sexuality is the natural state of human sexuality. Homophobia is often a reaction to that fact – alongside fanatical religious extremes based on belief systems that have no real validity other than that they are products of faith alone. Faith can be delusional. I believe in God but don’t understand Him. Never will. I just don’t possess that degree of arrogance necessary to think I might be able to do so.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:48pm
  26. Double standard anyone?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:51pm
  27. GOOD LUCK TO THE TWO LADIES—

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:52pm
  28. LGBT need to stop getting jobs at these religious schools.

    I support the community but sit down with a well educated atheist.

    Even they will tell you that the Christian god & Jesus is not for them and will never be.

    If an atheist shows you that, than you’ll know your living in denial.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:13pm
  29. Not trying to be mean:)

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:13pm
  30. Sure, let them play “favorites”.

    Idiots.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:50pm
  31. Is the lesbian music coach married? That is what they were trying to say about the Administrator. Either way I think the Administrator should reach out to Pope Francis.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:34pm
  32. A little hypocrisy here, no?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:38pm
  33. Great. The students win this one.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:50pm
  34. What the fuck!? So, the Gay MALE who was fired doesn’t get a job back at all? But the Lesbian DOES!? This is just another example to how Lesbians are ALOT more accepted in society than Gay Males… this is fuckin ridiculous.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:40pm
  35. if they’re bible literalists, the bible does not say anything about women loving women, but says men lying with other men as he would lie with a woman (whatever the hell that means) is an abomination. as well as shrimp. and shaving your sideburns.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:50pm
  36. Ummmm. Someone has a HELL of a lawsuit!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:33pm
  37. Publicity helps!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:34pm
  38. WTBF ?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:39pm