MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — William Hudson has voluntarily resigned as the president of Totino-Grace High School after informing the school that he is in a committed same-sex relationship, the school announced Tuesday.
Co-President Mark Motzel said the resignation was effective Friday.
“Bill served the Totino-Grace community well during his nine years at the school,” Motzel wrote in a press release. “That said, leading a Catholic school while living in a committed same-sex relationship is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. We thank Bill for his years of service to our community and wish him well as he explores new professional opportunities.”
Hudson was originally hired by Totino-Grace as vice president for Mission in 2004 and became president in 2011. Motzel said Hudson’s sexual orientation had never previously been questioned, adding “we were not aware of this.”
“Though heartbreaking and painful, I must say that it is freeing to be open about the most important thing in my life and to live an authentic life,” Hudson said in a release. “For over 20 years I have placed service of the Catholic Church ahead of my family. I am excited to now be able focus on my 2 children and my partner of 18 years as my first priority.”
Hudson’s biography said he previously had a top role at the National Catholic Educational Association, which works with 1,200 Catholic high schools around the country. He previously worked as a teacher, campus minister, coach, and Dean of Students at Hill-Murray.
Totino-Grace alumna Carla Staffa, who teaches at the high school level, said the school’s acceptance of Hudson’s resignation sends the wrong message.
“My immediate reaction just said, ‘Shame on you, Totino-Grace,'” she said. “To be in that position and to stand for what you believe in is really important for students to see.”
Staffa questions why Hudson’s record of performance wasn’t given a second look.
“I’ve been connected with the community through different events that have happened since I graduated, and there have only been positive reviews,” she said.
The school said on Tuesday that Hudson had an “excellent record of accomplishment.”
Minnesota is in the midst of a big shift on gay rights. After voters defeated a constitutional amendment to permanently ban gay marriage, the Democratic-controlled Legislature this spring legalized same-sex marriage. That law takes effect on Aug. 1.
The Catholic Church was among the main organizations that pushed for the constitutional ban and later fought the legislative push that legalized gay marriage.
Totino-Grace named an interim president, Principal Julie Michels, to serve during the search for a permanent successor to lead the 47-year-old school, which has 800 students, almost all of whom are Catholic. Aside from its high academic achievement, the school is a sports powerhouse, having won 23 state championships since 2000.
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