Eastside Catholic students hope protests prompt change

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 28 at 7:47 PM

SAMMAMISH -- Eastside Catholic students hope outrage over the firing of their vice principal for marrying his same-sex partner leads to changes in their church.

About 50 people ranging from students and alumni to concerned community members staged a protest outside the school Saturday.

“It’s fitting that we’re the Crusaders, we’re on a crusade for this guy’s rights,” said Corey Sinser, a 2006 alumni of the school.

Zmuda says he was fired last week after marrying his partner. According to the school, he resigned for violating Catholic teachings.

“But at the same time, contraceptives are against the Catholic Church, as well as divorce and sex before marriage. I think it’s important that if you’re going to lay down the law it better be all the way out or it’s clearly discriminating,” said Tristana Weist, a junior at the school.

“It’s just wrong,” said Kathy Nauth, a community member.

Kathy Nauth brought her 10-year-old son Alex to protest with the group.

“I want my son to grow up in a world where anybody can marry anybody,” she said.

Protests over Zmuda’s exit from the school have caught worldwide attention.

“We’re never going to stop, if we stop then people will forget about it and we just want to spread our message,” said Chase Bultez, a sophomore.

While reinstating the former vice principal is a start, students are calling for a revision of their religion.

“With just this small movement we can get people across the country, the whole nation and the world to recognize that this is a problem,” said Maddie Racine, a senior.

“The church knows they have to change or else these kids these Catholics aren’t going to embrace the church,” said Ernie Lou, a protestor.

The group is hopeful church leadership will hear their voices.

“We feel like this could be a defining moment in church history,” said Sinser.

According to the school, Zmuda was a great administrator. School President Mary Tracy told KING 5 she suggested Zmuda dissolve his marriage to save his job.

 

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