A Roman Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina has bowed out of hosting a Thanksgiving service rather than work with an openly gay and married music director.

Mecklenburg Ministries' 38th annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service is the city's largest and was originally scheduled to be held at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballanytne, Charlotte's largest house of worship.

But organizers decided to move the service to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Dilworth after Catholic officials at St. Matthew bristled at Steav Bates-Congdon's prominent role in the interfaith musical program, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Bates-Congdon served as musical director at St. Gabriel Catholic Church until 2012, when he was fired for marrying his longtime partner Bill in New York.

After Bates-Congdon received calls from people claiming to be church officials telling him he was not welcome to participate or even attend the upcoming program, St. Matthew's Monsignor John McSweeney, who said he was unaware of the calls, was asked to formally invite Bates-Congdon to participate in the event.

McSweeney declined, saying that “in no way would we give the impression that the Catholic Church approves of same-sex marital covenants.”

“I don't think we should have to violate [those teachings],” McSweeney told the paper. “And we were the hosts, and they were the guests. Because you are welcome does not mean we have to agree to everything you may hold to.”

McSweeney reportedly told the planning committee that he would not invite Bates-Congdon to participate in the event, saying that, “If this is a problem … then we are recommending moving the interfaith Thanksgiving service to another church.”

Bates-Congdon, now music director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fort Mill, thanked Mecklenburg Ministries for standing up for inclusion: “They're the heroes. Mecklenburg Ministries refused to let me stay home for Thanksgiving.”