Vermont Catholic Innkeepers: Honoring Our Beliefs About Marriage Isn't Discrimination


The Associated Press adds more detail to the story we posted yesterday about Catholic innkeepers in Vermont being sued by the ACLU for refusing to rent their facilities for a wedding reception of two New York women:

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union's Vermont chapter on behalf of Kate Baker and Ming Linsley, said the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville turned away the couple last fall and that at least two other same-sex couples were also refused because of the inn's owner has a "no-gay-reception policy."

... The inn's owners, Jim and Mary O'Reilly, issued a statement saying they are devout Catholics who believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.

"We have never refused rooms or dining or employment to gays or lesbians," they wrote. "Many of our guests have been same-sex couples. We welcome and treat all people with respect and dignity. We do not however, feel that we can offer our personal services wholeheartedly to celebrate the marriage between same-sex couples because it goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in."

... "This is a discrimination case," [Josh Block, a lawyer for ACLU] said. "It would be no different if you owned a store and said we don't want to sell clothes to you or give you food or any other public accommodation. The fact that it's occurring in a new context shouldn't affect the way we think about it."