NOM BLOG

Christian Innkeepers in Vermont Sued By SS Couple After Refusing to Host Their NY Wedding Reception

 

In the AP:

Two New York women say a Vermont inn refused to host their wedding reception because of the owners' anti-gay bias. The couple is now suing, alleging discrimination under the state's public accommodations law.

Kate Baker and Ming Linsley say they were turned away by the Wildflower Inn, a 24-room inn in Lyndonville, when they told the inn the wedding would have two brides but no groom.

... The American Civil Liberties Union's Vermont chapter filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Caledonia Superior Court. It says the inn violated the state Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which bars public accommodations from denying services to people based on sexual orientation.

15 Comments

  1. Sam Jones
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    All the neo nazis want to do is exercise their right to free speech. And that's not illegal. So why should Neo nazis have any less of a right to express their racist beliefs on their property than they do anywhere else?

    The point is that this lawsuit shows that the government enforced redefinition of marriage compromises civil and religious liberties in that the state not only instructs its citizens on what to say and how to say it, but on what to think and how to feel.

    The inkeepers are being punished for making a distinction between two things that are very different on a moral and intellectual level: homosexual relationships and marriages as defined by their religion. Since the innkeepers will not readjust their moral and religious convictions to be more in step with the moral standards their state now officially sponsors, they are being penalized for it.

    This incident shows that marriage should not have been redefined in their state in the first place. Not only that, but it should serve as an example to all other states in the US why redefining marraige is a very, very, VERY bad idea.

  2. Patrick Hogan
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    @Sam Jones (48): Did you not read what I wrote? I pretty clearly agreed that the neo Nazis, if organizing an event of a kind that is hosted by the inn (such as a wedding reception or, if the inn hosts group meetings, a group meeting) and are not violating any law in their activities, they should be allowed to do so.

    "...the state not only instructs its citizens on what to say and how to say it, but on what to think and how to feel."

    Simply not true. The couple is free to think, feel and say whatever they want; they are not free to provide services to some couples and deny them to others on the basis of sexual orientation.

    "Since the innkeepers will not readjust their moral and religious convictions to be more in step with the moral standards their state now officially sponsors..."

    The only standard being enforced (or sponsored) by the state is that all people should be treated equally; or, more particularly, that a business offering public accommodations cannot refuse service to some individuals based on the business owner's personal religious test. The state does not require that the innkeepers agree with the couple's right to marry; it does not require that the innkeepers agree with homosexual activity; it does not require that the innkeepers participate in either the wedding, the reception, or any homosexual activity. For all the state cares, the innkeepers can spend the entire day and night praying the rosary and asking that all gay people turn straight to be saved from the fires of Gehenna.

  3. Sam Jones
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    But they are required by the government to help celebrate an act that their religion finds objectionable. And their refusal to compromise their beliefs could result in their being run out of business by the state. Isn't this the kind of crap that people have fled to the US to avoid?

    The 1st amendment of the constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof;"

    The government enforced redefinition of marriage violates that amendment and is therefore unconstitutional.

  4. Sam Jones
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    And saying that people are able to think and feel anyway they like is moot since no government has the power to read minds. They can only know what their citizens are thinking and feeling when they exersize their right to free speech and free exercise of religion. Only then can they come down on them for it, like that innkeeper's family in Vermont.

    The day the state can tell people they have no say over what does or does not happen on their own property is the day we revive the Soviet Union.

  5. Eric
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof"

    Exercising your religion is a personal endeavor; it does not require nor does it suggest that others must fall in line with your own religious beliefs. In matters that pertain only to you, religion should not be inhibited (for example, the government cannot require that YOU participate in a same sex wedding reception.) However, if you provide a service to some and not others, you are practicing discrimination, and the first amendment does not protect any form of discrimination.

  6. Sam Jones
    Posted July 23, 2011 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    "the first amendment does not protect any form of discrimination."

    And that includes discrimination against christians which ostracizes them from civil society. That's why any law that does that is unconstitutional.

  7. Jane
    Posted July 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Of course this was the only place those women could pick to have their event! It's time for decent Christians to fight back against the trickery and bullying of these heathens.

  8. Lynn
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    This is a private business , the government should not tell them how to run their business. Homosexuals can boycott the business if they don't like their policy. It's called free enterprise.

  9. Seth Thayer
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Plain and simple, they are a public Inn and as such, are required by law to cater to the public. Should have just said they were full that weekend, sorry for the mix up and none of this would be an issue. However, they said they would not have a wedding there for these two people because of their beliefs. That's illegal.
    Sorry people.

  10. Kimberly Payne
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I am so sorry, but if I own ANY establishment, I SHOULD have the right to refuse service to ANYONEIi choose!!! The government should not put it's nose where it doesn't belong. If I don't like what the establishment stands for I DON'T have to eat there, but it SHOULD be their choice as to who they want and DON'T want to serve in their privately owned establishments!!!!!!!

  11. Kimberly Payne
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    For Seth Thayer, You honestly believe the government has the right to tell someone who OWNS their OWN business who they have to allow in their or serve. There are laws out there, and they are absolutely WRONG!!! Our government needs to stay out of private citizens affairs, unless they hurt someone physically. If you don't agree with what an establishment stands for you DON'T have to be a guest or customer of that place, but they should have the right to decide who they want and don't want to serve in their privately owned business!!

  12. Randy
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Does this mean that all churches have to marry SSM couples that asked them or they'll be sued? That's ridiculous! Find a church, an Inn, a union hall or whatever that will host your event. Recpect the wishes of other as you expect other to do for you!

  13. Posted July 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Freedom does not mean the freedom to force others to do what you want. They can find another inn. Honestly, sometimes it seems like they seek out Christian owners just so they can sue. They would advance their cause much more easily if they respected people's religious beliefs.

    whyimconservative.wordpress.com

  14. Big Mike
    Posted July 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    By the same logic that says that the innkeepers can be forced to host a same sex marriage reception (which is against their religious views) muslims and Jews can be forced to host a pig roast.

    The issue is the right of the innkeeper to not violate their own beliefs. Can the state force an Orthodox Jew to work on Saturday? Why are the beliefs of the innkeeper less important than those who want to use the inn?

  15. Wendy
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I fully support the Wildflower Inn in their stand in not allowing a gay "wedding reception". To me this is not discrimination, but standing for what is right in the eyes of God. There is nothing right about 2 women or 2 men being together as a "married couple"--it is immoral and wrong. More people need to take a stand for real marriage between 1 man and 1 woman and stop giving in to these gay activists. We need to pray for the gays to seek the help they need and seek God's presence in their lives.

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  1. By Christian ss | Goldengatecons on July 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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