- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Marietta church choir director says he was forced to resign from his job because he is gay.

Media outlets report Ira Pittman had worked at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church for more than 20 years. Pittman says he kept his sexuality separate from the church.

In December, Pittman threw a Christmas party for staff members with his partner of 16 years present. He says after the party, one of the staff members complained to church leaders that it was a “coming out party.”

Pittman says he was forced to resign because leaders said he violated the church’s stance on homosexuality. He has now filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Pittman works as a choir director at East Cobb United Methodist Church.

Mt. Bethel hasn’t responded to media requests for comment.

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