News (USA)

Students walk out in protest of ‘forced’ resignation of gay Catholic school official


SAMMAMISH, Wash. — Hundreds of students at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, Wash., walked out Thursday to protest the resignation of a vice principal they say was forced out because he recently married his same-sex partner.

Eastside Catholic attorney and spokesman Mike Patterson told KOMO-TV that Mark Zmuda signed a contract that states he would follow the official teachings of the church, and that same-sex marriage violates that contract.

According to their online blog, Zmuda married Dana Jergens last July — seven months after same-sex marriage became legal in Washington state.

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Students, who said they were told the decision to fire Zmuda was made by the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, protested the resignation by walking out of school on Thursday.

“We’re all here because we love him and we want to feel like we can accept people for who they are here at Eastside, and I think by firing him because he’s gay is not portraying that message,” Eastside Catholic senior Julia Troy said.

The students say it is widely known that Zmuda is gay, and are surprised the school has decided to act now.

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