The issue with Catholicism and homosexuality has always been a debate that has caused a lot of deep feeling and anger. Can you be a Catholic and gay? It is a question that has been asked for almost as long as the religion has existed.
Recently it has been highlighted with the dismissal of Seattle teacher Mark Zmuda for being married to another man.
Mark Zmuda’s dismissal sparked student sit-ins and protests at Eastside Catholic High School in December. Following this show of support the popular ex-teacher filed a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against Washington State Catholic school and the Seattle archdiocese.
He claims that he was offered a choice; divorce or get fired. Once he refused to divorce his husband, then the inevitable happened.
Zmuda said that he was tricked by a policy he found on the school’s website and employee handbook that pledges that “Eastside Catholic school does not discriminate on the basis of an employee’s or applicant’s race, religion, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or any other status or condition protected by local, state or federal law.”
The school has reportedly removed the passage from its website.
The church forbids same-sex marriage, and court rulings have upheld religious institutions’ rights to hire and dismiss staff, according to the tenets of their faith.
In February, however, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that nonprofit religious institutions in the state could be sued for job discrimination if an employee’s job is unrelated to religion.
The school has filed a motion to dismiss the suit, stating the court can’t adjudicate the case without violating the First Amendment, which protects freedom of religious practice.
All Set For Battle
This is all set to become a huge fight, and to be fair, I’m not sure how it’s going to go.
Obviously the American take their constitution very seriously. Look at the way they campaign to be allowed to wield guns like Clint Eastwood because ‘it said they could in the constitution’.
Yet discrimination is frowned on also. The courts will find themselves in a very tricky situation.
I can imagine being gay and a Catholic being very difficult. How do you reconcile your faith with the church being so anti-homosexual?
Is being a Catholic but engaging in homosexuality like proclaiming to be a vegetarian, but eating beef?
I’m not trying to sound flippant, but are the two things compatible? If anyone has any thoughts feel free to comment in the comments section below.
Either way we wish Mr Zmuda all the best during this trying time.
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.