March 10, 2014 (The Cardinal Newman Society) – The former vice principal of Eastside Catholic High School announced yesterday that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Seattle and the School for his firing after it was learned he married his same-sex partner, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Mark Zmuda was reportedly forced to resign in December. The school had stated that Zmuda had signed an employment agreement to act in accordance with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. By legally marrying his same-sex partner, he broke that agreement, according to the School.
Many students at the School almost immediately responded by creating an online petition and calling on the Catholic Church to end its opposition to same-sex marriage, as was reported.
The lawsuit, which is expected to be filed in King County Superior Court today, claims that the Archdiocese and the School discriminated against him and wrongfully terminated him in violation of the state consumer protection laws. The Archdiocese is included as a defendant in the lawsuit, according to Zmuda, because he believes the decision to force him to resign was made by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
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The acting chairs of the School’s board have reportedly already filed a motion in King County Superior Court to dismiss the complaint. The motion states: “Plaintiff’s action should be dismissed because the court does not have jurisdiction to adjudicate Plaintiff’s claims without violating the 1st Amendment.”
According to the School’s motion, in January of 2013, many parents had objected to pictures on Zmuda’s Facebook page which were “inappropriate for a representative of the school and inconsistent with the Catholic faith-based values of the school.” Around that time, Zmuda admitted that he was a homosexual but took down the pictures. Shortly following that, the School sent Zmuda a letter reminding him that his “public behavior” should be “consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.” When the School learned later that year that Zmuda had married his same-sex partner it asked him to resign.
Reprinted with permission from The Cardinal Newman