Vice principal forced to resign after gay marriage up for new job

SEATTLE -- Mark Zmuda, the vice principal who was forced to resign from Eastside Catholic School after marrying his partner in a same-sex wedding, may soon have a new job.

The Mercer Island School District announced Friday that Superintendent Gary Plano will recommend to the school board that Zmuda be confirmed as the new Mercer Island High School associate principal. If confirmed, Zmuda would begin his new job on July 1, according to the school district.

"Zmuda was selected from a field of more than 60 applicants following a lengthy interview process involving students, parents and staff. The hiring replaces the position held by Craig Olson who left the district in January," the district said in a statement on its website.

Zmuda, who had been a popular teacher, coach and vice principal at Eastside Catholic, was forced to resign in December after officials there learned of his marriage to his same-sex partner.

Zmuda filed a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against the school and church in March. Lawyers for the church and school planned to respond immediately with a motion arguing King County Superior Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case without violating the First Amendment.

The case has stirred debate at the school and in front of the Seattle Archdiocese and has led to several online petitions arguing for Zmuda's reinstatement and for a change in church doctrine on gay marriage.