SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- The Catholic Diocese of Toledo is backing a Roman Catholic school that parted ways with a gay teacher.

The diocese released a statement Monday saying Sandusky Central Catholic School appropriately terminated band and choir director Brian Panetta because he had publicly announced his plans to marry another man.

Panetta, a five-year teacher, was forced to resign last week, and issued a public statement about it Friday. The diocese said it was responding to Panetta's statement, noting it supported the firing "in light of the Church's clear teaching on sacred marriage."

The Sandusky Register ( ) reports that a group of outraged alumni of the school has taken to social media to oppose Panetta's termination. A new blog is pushing for him to be rehired, and a petition has gone up.