Z Day Protests End with a Catholic Parish's Panel on the Plight of LGBT Church Workers

Cleve Jones, Mary deRosas and Zeena Rivera speaking on the panel at St. Joseph Parish, Seattle.

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.”

The panel concluded with Zmuda, about whom you can read more here, announcing a new foundation, Stand with Mr. Z, which will focus on ending workplace discrimination. NCR reports further:

“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.

To keep apprised of the latest on LGBT church worker issues, please subscribe to Bondings 2.0 in the upper right hand corner of this page or visit the ‘Employment Issues’ category to the right.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

Related Posts

January 31, 2014: QUOTE TO NOTE: Seattle Catholic H.S. Student Reflects on Firing of Gay Educator

January 31, 2014: Amid New Firings, Z Day of Action Provides New Source of Hope

January 30, 2014: Catholic Schools Week Calls Us to Reflect on Fair Employment for LGBT Educators

January 28, 2014: As Day of Action Approaches, Zmuda Supporters Receiving National Attention

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

January 7, 2014: Love Always Wins: Students Inspire Hope with Their Defense of Fired Gay Teacher

December 20, 2013: Catholic Students Protest Firings in Seattle and Philly; What You Can Do to Help

0 replies
  1. Shan Gill
    Shan Gill says:

    Catholics are called to live out Christian charity. Yet, when they do so, they are pilloried and vilified by the world and the worldly. Mr. Zmuda voluntarily left the Catholic Church at his “gay marriage”. The Catholic Church has no authority to sanctify “gay marriage”, and it can never do so. Further, if Mr. Zmuda is well educated in matters of the Church, he knows this full well. If he is not well educated, then he should seek out such information.

    Why does anyone think that it is a good thing to lie to Mr. Zmuda and confirm him in his error? What evil has he done to people that they would treat him so shabbily as to lie to him about something so important as the possible loss of his immortal soul? May Mr. Zmuda find the peace of Christ in reconciliation.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] firing prompted a student walkout, repeated protests, a 21,000 signature petition, and nationwide Z-Day of Action in late January. This uprising also witnessed the resignation of both Eastside Catholic’s […]

  2. […] inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. You can read about the former here and the latter […]

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