|Catholic School Alumni Fight for Gay Administrator|
|By KAMI DIMITROVA (@kami0tweets)||Dec 22, 2013, 7:37 PM|
Alumni, students and parents from a Seattle Catholic school are fighting to have a revered vice principal reinstated, after school officials discovered his marriage to another man.
Supporters of Mark Zmuda vowed to pull funds from Eastside Catholic High School, after the school sent out a letter announcing he had resigned and calling his marriage a violation of his contract, which requires a strict adherence to a Catholic code.
"Shame on you!" wrote a passionate alumnus on the Eastside Catholic High School Alumni Facebook page in response to the school's letter.
"Not only is this type of homophobic behavior completely antiquated, it sets a horrible example for all students present and past of tolerance and acceptance," Jessica Lesser from the class of 1994 wrote. "Our own pope has a very different message for our Church: 'If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?' - Pope Francis."
Florence Colburn, whose son -- who she called "politically astute" -- instigated the school-wide rally protesting Zmuda's dismissal, has retracted contributions to the school and says her daughter, a sophomore, is questioning whether she wants to enroll there next year.
"We have been at the school for seven years, and by far [Mark] is the best administrator that I've ever seen there," Colburn told ABC News. "As a mentor, and a coach, and a colleague, and a human being, there's not a better person. I think that's why uproar was so fast and furious. There's nothing anyone can reproach this man."
Colburn says many of the families have chosen to enroll their kids in the 600-student Catholic high school for the academics, not necessarily for the religious education.
"My question now is what if there's a teacher in our school or any Catholic school that's been divorced, should we fire them?" Colburn said. "Should we fire teachers that take the pill? We can go down the list of the rules of Catholic teaching."
The school's attorney explained earlier this week that Eastside Catholic was merely abiding by the rules of the Archdiocese and the Catholic Church.
"I like him; he's a great guy," Patterson told ABC News. "We're going to give him all the transitional help he needs. I feel badly for the guy."
Alumni also held a rally today outside of Centurylink Field in downtown Seattle and created a hashtag #KeepMrZ in an effort to get Zmuda's job back.
Eastside Catholic School officials were not immediately available for comment.