(AP) A music director at a Catholic church in Rhode Island says he has been fired because he married a man.

Michael Templeton tells The Providence Journal he was fired last week from his post at the Church of St. Mary in Providence. He says the Rev. Francesco Francese and a representative of the Diocese of Providence told him he needed to leave because of his 2015 marriage to his partner of five years.

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Bishop Thomas Tobin says someone who holds a ministerial position in the church is expected to live in a way that's consistent with church teachings and the church "had no choice but to respond."

The newspaper reported 30 members of the parish protested by singing over a prayer during Sunday's service.