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Paper: school band director fired for gay marriage plans

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The Sandusky Register reports a local school fired its band director over his same-sex marriage plans.

The paper says Sandusky Central Catholic School allegedly forced Brian Panetta to resign after learning he and his boyfriend were engaged.

Panetta has been with the district for five years. He was fired on January 3rd.

His termination letter stated he had violated the moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church.

In a letter to students and parents Panetta wrote: "Dear Sandusky Central Catholic Community,It is with heavy heart and great remorse that I find myself stepping down from my position as Director and Coordinator of Music at Sandusky Central Catholic School. I am, however, proud to announce that over Christmas Break I accepted a proposal of engagement to my partner of five years. As a proud and gay Catholic, I understand the Church's teachings on marriage and agree that my engagement is a public statement of my position for marriage equality, which the Catholic Church does not yet support. I am hopeful to see change in the future, but until then I am praying for strength and understanding and encourage my students to do the same"

Melody Curtis, President of Sandusky Central Catholic said in an e-mail message, "It is with great sadness that we extend to you that Mr. Brian Panetta has resigned his position today as music Director and Coordinator of Music at Sandusky Central Catholic School. We would like to thank Mr. Panetta for his devotion and service to the school, and the gifts and talent he brought to the music program."

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