Momentum grows and grows for Mark Zmuda’s supporters, who recently concluded a nationwide day of action with a panel addressing LGBT church workers and justice in the Church. Zmuda is the vice principal fired by the Seattle-area’s Eastside Catholic High School in December for marrying his husband, prompting a movement in support of him which thus far has witnessed the resignation of the school’s president and chairman of the board.
200-plus people gathered at St. Joseph parish, Seattle, for the panel event which ended “Z Day” demonstrations on January 31st. The panel included Cleve Jones, a nationally-known LGBT advocate, prominent Eastside Catholic alumni, and current Eastside Catholic school students. St. Joseph is the parish of Jesuit Fr. John Whitney who declared his support for the protesting students, whom he called “Orange and Blue Apostles, in a homily a few weeks back. National Catholic Reporter describes the perspectives shared on the panel:
“The Jan. 31 panel discussion was led by married alumni leaders Mary and Red Kopczynski. Announcing that “Mr. Z wants his job back and we want to make this happen,” Mary recounted the increasing ways that an estimated 350 alumni have organized and become involved…
“St. Joseph parishioner Mary deRosas insisted, ‘Whatever divisions are used to categorize people are human constructs, not God’s constructs.’ She cited Catholics for Marriage Equality Washington State, a local group formed in response to a 2012 campaign that would have overturned legislation allowing statewide civil marriage for same-sex couples, as a key factor in the increased awareness and engagement on this issue.
“Zeena Rivera, a senior at Seattle’s Holy Names Academy and self-described ‘Catholic queer youth’ who participated as the third panelist, defined her two loves in life as her church family and the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She explained that a typical Sunday routine could include a gay pride march followed by evening Mass.”
“Zmuda said that as a lifelong Catholic he believes in the Trinity, tries to obey the Ten Commandments, and prays daily for his husband, his faith and the school community. ‘I am not asking everyone to agree with marriage equality,’ he added. ‘I’m just asking that everyone be tolerant. I do feel that God loves all of his children [and] only God will be the one to judge us in the end.’ “
At the end of this post, you can click on links to read Bondings 2.0’s coverage of this case. You can also view an interview with Mark Zmuda which aired on Al Jazeera America by clicking here.
This ‘miracle,’ as panelist Cleve Jones referred to the protest movement, has caused many to question where the Church will go on LGBT church workers, as firings increase rapidly. These Seattle-area Catholics are preaching a just Gospel which serves as a a guideline to respond to all the unjust firings of LGBT church workers.
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–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry
January 31, 2014: Amid New Firings, Z Day of Action Provides New Source of Hope
January 22, 2014: Eastside Catholic President Who Fired Gay Vice Principal Resigns
January 18, 2014: Jesuit Priest Endorses Students ‘Making a Mess’ in Seattle
January 17, 2014: Seattle Archdiocese Responds As Students Keep Fighting Unjust Firing
January 10, 2014: Anti-LGBT Policies Create Vaccines Against Faith in Catholic Schools