High school students protest resignation of gay vice principal

High school students protest resignation of gay vice principal »Play Video
The #KeepMrZ2013 campaign continues - this time outside the Seattle Archdiocese Dec. 20, 2013.
SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- A movement that began with the fight for a vice principal who lost his job over gay marriage is now gaining national attention as Eastside Catholic High School students spread their message through social media and on the streets.

"I think the students are giving a very important message that love wins and discrimination has no place in our society," said Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, who attended a rally in Seattle on Friday that took place outside of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

At the rally, students were calling on the Catholic church to change its stance on same-sex marriage.

Eastside Catholic vice principal Mark Zmuda resigned this week after the Archdiocese learned Zmuda married his same-sex partner during the summer - a violation of his contract with the school and Catholic teachings.

More than 100 people attended Friday's rally, including Mayor-elect Ed Murray who was invited by the organizers.

"I would hope that our church would recognize a person based on their ability to hold a job, their personal character, and not based on the person that they love," Murray told the crowd.

Murray said he was not there to challenge the church's doctrine but to show solidarity with students.

"It says something about the great job the Catholic High School is doing. They're teaching these students about social justice and treating people fairly," said Murray.

Students also gathered outside Sammamish City Hall on Friday morning, waving signs as cars drove by the area.

"I think it's very positive. There's so many honks. There's so many people waving and giving us support," said Kyler Sawyer, who attends Eastlake High School and helped with the efforts to support Zmuda. "It's almost 2014. We need to get over this barrier. We need to accept everyone for who they are."

Students have gathered more than 15,000 signatures on an online petition in an attempt to change the church's beliefs on gay marriage. They say this fight is no longer about them.

"So many people are saying we need to change these rights," said Eastside Catholic High School student Patrick Hillis. "(Zmuda) shouldn't be fired because he's gay. He should be staying with us."

Zmuda was also a swim coach at Eastside Catholic High School. He did not attend the team's meet on Friday afternoon but students displayed signs to continue their support.