Seattle Catholic Students Organize Support Event for Educator Terminated over Same-Sex Marriage
Students at Eastside Catholic High in Seattle are calling it Z-Day in honor of Vice-Principal Mark Zmudia. He was recently fired by the Catholic school for marrying his boyfriend.
The students will stage the event this Friday, January 31st. They are urging supporters to wear orange, and participate in a moment of silent support at 10a.m. According to a press release email received from the organization:
'That evening at 7:30pm, student organizers are hosting an event entitled 'Z Day Panel - A Reflection on Identity, Faith, and the 21st Century Church' at the Saint Joseph Parish social hall in Seattle. An informative panel discussion, featuring several prominent, local Catholic perspectives, will touch on the complex intersection of faith and human sexuality. Guest of honor Cleve Jones, who was on the forefront of the gay rights movement alongside Harvey Milk, will speak on the panel as well. Mark Zmuda will cap off the evening by giving his own remarks on his faith journey and identity discovery. "
Organizers stressed in the release the event is NOT sponsored or assisted in any way by the Catholic Church, their facilities are just being used for the event. According to news reports, the private church school in Seattle fired Zmuda recently after it learned he had married his boyfriend under the new same-sex marriage law passed in Washington state.
As Catholic officials in Seattle said last week, the situation presented a "myriad" of challenges. According to school spokesman Greg Magnoni:
"To fulfill their mission, Catholic schools have a right to expect school leaders not only pass on Catholic teachings, but model it.We have a responsibility to support Catholic schools in their efforts to uphold their principles and their traditions.”
According to news reports, students at Eastside and another Seattle area school staged a protest march and a sit-in over the firing of the popular educator, and Archdioscese officials were presented with a petition containing 21,000 signatures from people around the world asking Zmuda be retained. Catholic religious doctrine does not condone same-sex marriages. The high school is pictured below.