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Gay music director speaks out about forced resignation from church job

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The gay music director who was asked to resign from his post at a Minnesota church after marrying his partner is now talking about the decision.

Jamie Manzi-Moore, who was asked to resign from the staff of St. Victoria's Catholic Church in Victoria, Minnesota, after he married his longtime partner, Garrett, over the weekend, told WCCO he "held out hope that this just wouldn’t have to become an issue."

Manzi-Moore says while Archbishop John Nienstedt asked for his resignation just days before his wedding, St. Victoria's priest, Father Bob White, fought to keep him on staff.

The longtime music director told KARE 11 he was "not surprised" he was asked to resign.

"I'm sad and I was hopeful that I could continue in my career at St. Victoria but it wasn't a surprise," he told KARE 11. "I've known since I started at St. Victoria in February of 1997 that this could be a possibility at some point."

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FOX 9 says White notified parish members of Manzi-Moore's resignation Tuesday by email. He also posted word of the music director's departure on the church website.

Manzi-Moore told WCCO he previously came out to White and staff, and Nienstedt found out in 2011 that the music director and his partner were living together. At the time, White told Nienstedt he intended to keep his employee on staff and nothing further was said until last week, Manzi-Moore says.

In his statement, Nienstedt said he "was consulted about the employment matter and I responded by saying the teachings of the Church must be upheld, including the pastoral response of working with an employee whose actions are contrary to the Catholic faith.”

Manzi-Moore told WCCO he'll officially resign Thursday and doesn't have another job lined up, but doesn't blame Nienstedt for his actions and hopes the Catholic Church will one day accept same-sex marriage.

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