Gay vice principal to sue Wash. Catholic school

Mar 6, 2014 Full story: Reno Gazette-Journal 453

If you don't like the fact that term-limited council members in Reno can't run for mayor, you might... Mark Zmuda speaks publicly for the first time since his removal from Eastside Catholic High School in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

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Dan

United States

#348 Mar 25, 2014
hi hi wrote:
<quoted text>
I *know* that the "religious" figures believe their moral teachings and so forth to be superior; I've witnessed this repeatedly (and haven't you?). I'm saying that they have a PROFOUND BELIEF in their knowledge of "what is right," and I have now (possibly for all time) labeled it BS.
I do wonder, though, whether Zmuda felt "forced" into the situation -- not by them, certainly, but by his beliefs. He wants to teach in that setting. He will be forced, literally *forced*, NEVER TO MARRY if he wants to do so. The heterosexual next to him does not have that restriction.
I am reading and reading and reading and reading everything you say and everything wondering says and something inside me will *NOT* allow me to be on board with this.
And ya know what's funny?
It feels like a *deeply held moral conviction*. It feels deep, and true, and strong, and I feel I would be wrong-headed and doing a disservice to the very notion of morality to agree with all of this.
It's *not* the contract, in this case -- at least not entirely. It's the *situation the contract creates*, and -- as I just said to wondering -- for NO REASON anyone can point to, for NO REASON any antigay person can apparently present in court for "gay marriage" purposes because they are really, almost laughably losing those cases left and right now.
Something is wrong with this situation and my feeling about that won't go away. And it has to do with the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Smith are not affected by this issue, but Mr. and Mr. Smith are, and *no one has a really, really true or good reason* for this.
No one can provide one.
Literally no one.
Literally no one.
Is that, perhaps, my issue? That the terms of the contract smack me as *literally* arbitrary? The "church" would scream about that, but that's exactly what I see.
I guess at this point, because you are thoughtful and cool, I am continuing to attempt to articulate so that perhaps you come up with SOMETHING I can grasp at. I simply don't see this.
Well, the only extra information that I'd present is "why the Church teaches what they teach". After that, the conclusions drawn as to whether the teachings are abitrary or capricious could still remain, although we'd have all the info as to the basis for the teaching, I'll cite the pertinent Catechism if you're so disposed.

RE: "never to marry"-yeah, that's a toughie. Catholic clerics and religious deal with that.

“No Headline available”

Since: Jan 08

Defiance, Ohio

#349 Mar 25, 2014
Dan wrote:
What was "inflammatory" and "irrelevant" was your statement that started all of this-that the school could not dictate terms to Zmuda based on what he did in public (off the clock).
Conduct clauses are ubiquitous in personal service conrtacts.
Gay people are bound by contracts in the same manner that everyone else is bound by them.
The problem in this case it that the prohibited conduct is sexuality and marriage, both of which are perfectly legal.
Sorry, Dan, the Diocese is going to settle, and if they don't they will lose. They have no right to include clauses that would regulate an employees sexuality, or who they may marry, regardless of whether they are a religious employer or not.

The clause and its application are patently illegal. The diocese's case if further weakened by the fact that they offered Zmuda the option to divorce, which would similarly violate the contract clause. Such a move illustrating the the diocese was willing to invoke the clause selectively hurts their position very badly. Had they just dismissed him, they would be on much more stable legal footing.
Dan wrote:
Um, religious freedom extends to the institutions as well.
You don't seem terribly well-versed on any of this.
Sorry Dan, contrary to what you may have heard, corporations are not people and do not have rights. Even if they did, those rights would not supersede the rights of individuals within said institutions.

The individuals who comprise an institution like a church have free exercise, the institution does not.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#350 Mar 25, 2014
lides wrote:
The individuals who comprise an institution like a church have free exercise, the institution does not.
The individuals exercised their free exercise and fired the guy.
The contact isn't illegal, it's pretty standard for a Catholic church.
This man is not the first to be fired, probably won't be the last.
Dan

United States

#351 Mar 25, 2014
lides wrote:
<quoted text>
The problem in this case it that the prohibited conduct is sexuality and marriage, both of which are perfectly legal.
Sorry, Dan, the Diocese is going to settle, and if they don't they will lose. They have no right to include clauses that would regulate an employees sexuality, or who they may marry, regardless of whether they are a religious employer or not.
The clause and its application are patently illegal. The diocese's case if further weakened by the fact that they offered Zmuda the option to divorce, which would similarly violate the contract clause. Such a move illustrating the the diocese was willing to invoke the clause selectively hurts their position very badly. Had they just dismissed him, they would be on much more stable legal footing.
<quoted text>
Sorry Dan, contrary to what you may have heard, corporations are not people and do not have rights. Even if they did, those rights would not supersede the rights of individuals within said institutions.
The individuals who comprise an institution like a church have free exercise, the institution does not.
The case is about neither sexual orientation nor marriage. Zmuda's still gay, and he's still married.

It's about an at-will employment contract and the religious organization's court-tested and approved right to define what constitutes "ministerial exception". Ask any straight teacher who's been terminated for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy how that works if you have questions.

The Chirch isn't a coproration in the sense you describe. I'll refer you to the First Amendment should you believe that the government, somehow, has the ability to dictate the tenets and practice of a religion to its adherents. Before you take too much time on that-they don't. The religion decides what its tenets and practices are. The religious tenets and practices aren't at issue here and the Constitution says they cannot be.
Dan

Omaha, NE

#352 Mar 25, 2014
lides wrote:
<quoted text>
The problem in this case it that the prohibited conduct is sexuality and marriage, both of which are perfectly legal.
Sorry, Dan, the Diocese is going to settle, and if they don't they will lose. They have no right to include clauses that would regulate an employees sexuality, or who they may marry, regardless of whether they are a religious employer or not.
The clause and its application are patently illegal. The diocese's case if further weakened by the fact that they offered Zmuda the option to divorce, which would similarly violate the contract clause. Such a move illustrating the the diocese was willing to invoke the clause selectively hurts their position very badly. Had they just dismissed him, they would be on much more stable legal footing.
<quoted text>
Sorry Dan, contrary to what you may have heard, corporations are not people and do not have rights. Even if they did, those rights would not supersede the rights of individuals within said institutions.
The individuals who comprise an institution like a church have free exercise, the institution does not.
Let's try this example, as I think your animus toward the Church is clouding your thinking on this a bit.

Mark works for a major pharmacy chain on a personal services employment contract in their procurement area. Part of the contract dictates that he act in a manner that ensures that the ethical business practices of the company are at the forefront of his duties. This pharmacy chain operates on the basis that all sales contracts for pharmaceuticals are up for bid and contracts for sales of pharmaceuticals are determined impartially on the merits of the bids received.

Mark meets Bill, a drug company sales rep, in the course of his job. Mark and Bill strike up a personal relationship that blossoms over time, and they marry. Mark does not tell his employer that he and Bill have married.

A rep for another drug company that competes with Bill for contracts with Mark's company finds out that Mark and Bill have married, and complains to officials at Mark's company that there appears to be a conflict of interest.

Mark's boss calls him in, and finds out about Mark and Bill's relationship. He says "Hey, Mark-cut him loose or we're cutting you loose". Mark refuses, and is terminated.

So, has Mark been fired beacuse he's gay, beacuse he's married, or because he violated his employment contract?
hi hi

Lancaster, PA

#353 Mar 25, 2014
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Straights can be dismissed by the church as well. For practicing birth control and for having pre-marital sex. It's not as easy to catch them though. I also agree that the church has a right to dismiss these people as well, they are not following the teachings of the church which is in violation of their contract. Although difficult to enforce, these rules also 'force' a person to live in a certain way. People should take contracts seriously, always read them, sign them only when you accept the terms.
I had never thought of this!; thank you.

I feel suspicious, though. Not of you; of them.
hi hi

Lancaster, PA

#354 Mar 25, 2014
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, the only extra information that I'd present is "why the Church teaches what they teach". After that, the conclusions drawn as to whether the teachings are abitrary or capricious could still remain, although we'd have all the info as to the basis for the teaching, I'll cite the pertinent Catechism if you're so disposed.
RE: "never to marry"-yeah, that's a toughie. Catholic clerics and religious deal with that.
You mean, the biblical word?

That's meaningless, if you're talking about gay people; those passages are believed to be mistranslated -- and not just in a throwaway "declaration," either; apparently there are scholars who think so. Makes sense; we know or suspect it to be inborn orientation, so.

By the way, I am striving and striving to keep my responses to you short, since it seems you *are* reading them. I sometimes edit them down.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#355 Mar 25, 2014
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
I haven't seen it.
Zmuda's attorney has, and he isn't (per anything he's stated) fighting the school based on the core validity of the contract. He stated that he planned to argue that Zmuda did not serve in any ministerial capactiy in his duties as vice-principal.
That's a non-starter if, in fact, that IS his approach.
In a Catholic school that is an entirely appropriate argument. It WOULD have been proper for Zmuda to have been barred from his EME duties, or removed from catechetical duties (if any), but the firing as vice-principal is problematic.

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#356 Mar 25, 2014
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Straights can be dismissed by the church as well. For practicing birth control and for having pre-marital sex. It's not as easy to catch them though. I also agree that the church has a right to dismiss these people as well, they are not following the teachings of the church which is in violation of their contract. Although difficult to enforce, these rules also 'force' a person to live in a certain way. People should take contracts seriously, always read them, sign them only when you accept the terms.
Do not accept the conflation of the church with whatever ancillary businesses they may elect to run.
Dan

Omaha, NE

#357 Mar 26, 2014
hi hi wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean, the biblical word?
That's meaningless, if you're talking about gay people; those passages are believed to be mistranslated -- and not just in a throwaway "declaration," either; apparently there are scholars who think so. Makes sense; we know or suspect it to be inborn orientation, so.
By the way, I am striving and striving to keep my responses to you short, since it seems you *are* reading them. I sometimes edit them down.
No, not the Bible. The Catechism.

Yeah, I'm reading.
Dan

Omaha, NE

#358 Mar 26, 2014
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
In a Catholic school that is an entirely appropriate argument. It WOULD have been proper for Zmuda to have been barred from his EME duties, or removed from catechetical duties (if any), but the firing as vice-principal is problematic.
...except it's too late.

Zmuda DID serve in a ministerial capacity.
Dan

Omaha, NE

#359 Mar 26, 2014
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
Do not accept the conflation of the church with whatever ancillary businesses they may elect to run.
Does not matter.

It's accepted.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#360 Mar 26, 2014
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
Do not accept the conflation of the church with whatever ancillary businesses they may elect to run.
The supreme court does, why shouldn't I?

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#361 Mar 26, 2014
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
...except it's too late.
Zmuda DID serve in a ministerial capacity.
The RCC does not have "ministers", per se.

Regardless, RC schools don't have "ministers".

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#362 Mar 26, 2014
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
The supreme court does, why shouldn't I?
There are times when the SCotUS is wrong.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#363 Mar 26, 2014
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
There are times when the SCotUS is wrong.
This isn't one of them. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

“No Headline available”

Since: Jan 08

Defiance, Ohio

#364 Mar 26, 2014
Dan wrote:
The case is about neither sexual orientation nor marriage. Zmuda's still gay, and he's still married.
It's about an at-will employment contract and the religious organization's court-tested and approved right to define what constitutes "ministerial exception". Ask any straight teacher who's been terminated for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy how that works if you have questions.
The Chirch isn't a coproration in the sense you describe. I'll refer you to the First Amendment should you believe that the government, somehow, has the ability to dictate the tenets and practice of a religion to its adherents. Before you take too much time on that-they don't. The religion decides what its tenets and practices are. The religious tenets and practices aren't at issue here and the Constitution says they cannot be.
Let me help you. This is a simple contracts case. Where the diocese made a fatal misstep is offering a remedy, namely allowing Zmuda to divorce (a big Catholic no-no), and offering to pay for a "commitment ceremony."

Showing such brazen disregard of their own contract clauses calls into question the validity and applicability of the clause in question.
Dan wrote:
Let's try this example, as I think your animus toward the Church is clouding your thinking on this a bit.
I have no animus towards the church, they have animus towards gay people.
The funny part, is that these good Christians regularly cast judgment, do not love their neighbors as themselves, and do not forgive. Jesus had a word for such people, he called them hypocrites.
Dan wrote:
Mark works for a major pharmacy chain on a personal services employment contract in their procurement area. Part of the contract dictates that he act in a manner that ensures that the ethical business practices of the company are at the forefront of his duties. This pharmacy chain operates on the basis that all sales contracts for pharmaceuticals are up for bid and contracts for sales of pharmaceuticals are determined impartially on the merits of the bids received.
Mark meets Bill, a drug company sales rep, in the course of his job. Mark and Bill strike up a personal relationship that blossoms over time, and they marry. Mark does not tell his employer that he and Bill have married.
A rep for another drug company that competes with Bill for contracts with Mark's company finds out that Mark and Bill have married, and complains to officials at Mark's company that there appears to be a conflict of interest.
Mark's boss calls him in, and finds out about Mark and Bill's relationship. He says "Hey, Mark-cut him loose or we're cutting you loose". Mark refuses, and is terminated.
So, has Mark been fired beacuse he's gay, beacuse he's married, or because he violated his employment contract?
You can't think that is a relevant hypothetical situation, and if you do, then you aren't so bright.

What you are describing would be more similar to if he had married a faculty member, or to be fair, the faculty member of another catholic school who was, for instance, a sports coach meaning the two would occasionally be present at school events.

Zmuda and his partner are not in the same business, nor is there is appearance of impropriety. He has already agreed not to bring his partner, now spouse, to events on campus. Quite frankly, it also weakens the schools case that they were aware of his relationship in the first place and failed to invoke the contract clause. You see, Dan, the biggest problem that the school has is their cavalier attitude towards their own morals clause. It is particularly damaging when they demanded he divorce his spouse, which as I have already said is a big Catholic no-no, and would similarly violate the clause.
Dan

United States

#365 Mar 26, 2014
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
The RCC does not have "ministers", per se.
Regardless, RC schools don't have "ministers".
That's odd.

They think they have "ministers". They term them "priests", but they have them.

The RCC thinks the schools they run are extensions of the ministry of Christ. Look at their websites/mission statements. The courts agree with the fact that they can determine what "ministry" is to them.

Better call them and set them straight.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#366 Mar 26, 2014
lides wrote:
<quoted text>
Let me help you.
BEAHAHAHAHA! Hysterical!
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#367 Mar 26, 2014
lides wrote:
the biggest problem that the school has is their cavalier attitude towards their own morals clause. It is particularly damaging when they demanded he divorce his spouse, which as I have already said is a big Catholic no-no, and would similarly violate the clause.
Two gay men divorcing isn't a "Catholic no-no." In the eyes of the church these men never received the sacrament of marriage. He violated his contract, the supreme court and the 1st amendment stand with the church.

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