More than 400 Washington students walked out their high school Thursday to protest the dismissal of a popular vice principal who was forced to resign for marrying his same-sex partner.
Students at Eastside Catholic High School also staged a sit-in to show support for Mark Zmuda and to protest the decision, which was a direct order from the Archdiocese, KIRO TV reported
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Gay marriage is legal in Washington. Zmuda married his partner last summer, but apparently it was news to the Archdiocese of Seattle.
“We just learned about it,” said Mike Patterson, spokesman for Eastside Catholic, the Seattle Times reported
. “He understood he could no longer be employed there because of his current circumstances.”
Protesting students said it was unfair that Zmuda, who was also the swim coach, lost his job for marrying someone he loves.
A petition was started by a student on Change.org calling for the Roman Catholic Church to change its stance on gay marriage
“It is time to revisit the policy and act as Jesus would have, loving and supporting every person regardless of their marital status,” it read, in part. As of Friday afternoon the petition had 12,500 signatures.
“The fact that you guys are all here for me means the world. I just wanted you to know that I love each and every one of you. I appreciate the love and concern," Zmuda said, KIRO TV reported.
“I just want to make one brief statement and that is to tell you that yes, I am gay. Yes, I did get married this past summer and I know it is against the Catholic teaching.
“I think a lot of you guys are raised in a generation that is more open and acceptable to things that are legal now in the State of Washington. But, I just want you to know that my personal life is a small part of who I am.”
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