NOM BLOG

Breaking News: New Jersey Says Ocean Grove Association Discriminated Against Lesbian Couple

 

New Jersey Star Ledger:

A state agency concluded Tuesday that an Ocean Grove association discriminated against a lesbian couple by denying their application to hold a civil union ceremony at its boardwalk pavilion.

In a 16-page decision, state Division of Civil Rights Director Craig Sashihara wrote that that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated the state Law Against Discrimination in 2007 when it did not allow Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster to hold their ceremony at the pavilion, theAsbury Park Press reports.

Sashihara upheld a January decision reached by a state Office of Administrative Law judge.

“The laws of New Jersey prevailed,” Bernstein told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re delighted.”

... the state Department of Environmental Protection denied the association’s request for a tax abatement for the pavilion in 2008 because the structure was not available to all on an equal basis, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The association, which can appeal the decision within 45 days, has stopped renting out the pavilion for weddings since the incident, the Asbury Park Press reported.

41 Comments

  1. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Makes sense. In New Jersey (where there isn't legal same sex marriage), Ocean Grove was given a tax break to operated a PUBLIC facility.

    With a tax break come rules. One rule is that you don't violate the state's non-discrimination law.

    Ocean Grove cannot deny people on the basis of race, creed, sex or sexual orientation.

    Same sex marriage never had anything to do with this case.

  2. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    If Ocean Grove rents out their property for weddings, how could they be sued for not renting for a civil union? A civil union is not a marriage; weddings are a celebration of marriage. The couple was not having a wedding, they were having a civil union. This is a clear case of gay politics trumping common sense.

  3. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    And an excellent reason to get rid of civil unions. They are a Trojan horse.

  4. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with that DoE.

    Ocean Grove rented out for events.

  5. Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    What about this organization's right to religious freedom? Why does the right of these two women to discriminate against men trump the business's right to operate on the Christian belief that marriage is gender-integrated?

  6. Richard
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Because it has put itself out as a public business. If a business owner believed that interracial marriage, or interfaith marriage was wrong, based on their religious teachings- would it be okay to deny access to those marriages they diagreed with? Or perhaps a person's religious belief required the separation of the sexes during meal times- could they deny access or force patrons to follow their beliefs?

  7. Duncan
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    DoE....it is always helpful to know the *facts* before you post.

    Of course, NOM, Brian, Maggie, et al. are allergic to Truth and Facts, as can be seen repeatedly on this site.

  8. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I maintain my opinion that civil unions are a Trojan horse and need to be got rid of.

    Richard--"civil union" is not marriage. You're mixing apples and onions. Can you find real life examples of the what-if's you propose?

    Duncan--can I assume that your criticism of me, NOM, Brian, et al means you no longer have any arguments in behalf of neutering marriage?

  9. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    So, Seaborn, you're saying that if Ocean Grove rented out for some kinds of events, they must therefore rent out for any and all kinds of events? Where would you draw the limits on what Ocean Grove could dictate happens on their property, or would you not draw any limits?

    Another comment in cue.

  10. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I'm saying that they took a tax break with the proviso that they serve the public.

    The pavilion was available for rent for parties, proms, weddings, etc. The couple was not doing anything illegal and had every right to sue and won.

  11. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    In which case I maintain that civil unions are a danger to religious freedom, and need to be stopped. Nothing should inhibit the Constitution.

    And now the entire public loses the opportunity to use Ocean Grove, because they no longer rent to anyone due to threats of being sued again. Everyone loses.

  12. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Kind of reminds me of the story of Solomon, who had to judge between two women who claimed to be the mother of one child. The real mother would sacrifice for her child, while the other would gladly see it cut in half, rather than let the real mother have her baby. Marriage is the baby; the pro-ssm crowd is the fake mother, and the real mother is represented by all those wishing to preserve marriage from neutering. And Solomon--well, we could really use a Solomon right now.

  13. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Like I said before, good luck rolling back civil unions.

    Ocean Grove took their ball and went home because they couldn't follow the law. Sounds exactly like a certain Catholic adoption agency in MA.

  14. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Another question for you, Seaborn; is everything legal, moral? Does a religion have the right to dictate moral behavior on their property?

  15. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I disagree that Ocean Grove couldn't follow the law. The law they chose to follow was a higher law--that of not sanctioning a sexual union outside the bonds of matrimony between a husband and wife. They would rather risk offending God, than offending the public. You can see it as being a spoiled sport, but, given their beliefs, how could they do otherwise, and maintain their religious integrity?

  16. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Whoops--worded that backwards--they would rather risk offending the public, than offending God....

  17. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Fine, DoE. No tax break for Ocean Grove then. If they want to pick and choose which members of the public they serve, then they aren't eligible to take the public's money.

    Sounds like they made that choice.

  18. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, Seaborn, that's an option, but is that any way to thank them for the other types of community service they probably engage in?

  19. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    What's a "civil union ceremony"?

    Were they letting heterosexuals have civil union ceremonies?

  20. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Daughter of Eve wrote, "And an excellent reason to get rid of civil unions. They are a Trojan horse."

    They most certainly are. Once the People compromise with the tireless, insatiable homosexual special rights lobby -- and legalize civil unions -- the lobbyists come back with the seperate but equal is not equal legal argument.

    If that's true, why did they push for civil unions in the first place?

    Because they're a legal stepping stone.

  21. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Richard wrote, "If a business owner believed that interracial marriage, or interfaith marriage was wrong, based on their religious teachings- would it be okay to deny access to those marriages they diagreed with?"

    This wasn't a marriage ceremony. There's no such thing as homosexual "marriage" in New Jersey.

  22. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Seaborn Roddenberry wrote,
    >
    > I'm saying that they took a tax break with the proviso that they serve the public.

    So does that mean they have to serve it in every way possible?

    > The pavilion was available for rent for parties, proms, weddings, etc.

    Who defines, "etc." A "civil union ceremony" isn't a party, prom, or wedding. These are very traditional, widely accepted things.

    Why should people -- that have sex with members of the same gender -- be included in lists like "race, creed, sex"? Race and sex are what you are, not what you do. Homosexuals are defined by what they do. Creed is what you believe in. This mimics our Constitution -- but I'm sure there are limits, unless they're letting the Rostafarians have bong voyage parties.

  23. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Daughter of Eve wrote, "And now the entire public loses the opportunity to use Ocean Grove, because they no longer rent to anyone due to threats of being sued again. Everyone loses."

    That's fine with the lesbians. (Why do they always use lesbians for their legal posturing? Why not, "Let Steve take his 'lover' to the prom"?)

    Destroy.

    It was a political statement.

  24. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Seaborn Roddenberry wrote, "Like I said before, good luck rolling back civil unions."

    Good luck getting any more states to fall for that Trojan horse. North Carolina just voted to illegalize them in their constitution. They wouldn't listed when the same-sex "marriage" advocates said, "WAIT! THAT WILL MAKE CIVIL UNIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL TOO!"

    They knew what they were doing.

  25. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Seaborn Roddenberry wrote,
    >
    > Ocean Grove took their ball and went home because they couldn't follow the law.

    That's a good reason to stop homosexual special rights advocates from slipping in "sexual orientation" -- formerly known as "sexual preference" (a choice) -- into lists of intrinsic, immutable characteristics like "race. sex, national origin, ..."

    > Sounds exactly like a certain Catholic adoption agency in MA.

    The adoption agency was right. Have you read about Regnerus' New Family Structures Study?
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/03/u-texas-backs-professor-in-battle-with-gay-blogger/

    Homosexuals shouldn't be adopting children -- depriving them of a mother or a father, just because that is the way the adults want it to be.

  26. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Daughter of Eve wrote, "Another question for you, Seaborn; is everything legal, moral?"

    California legislation paid for by the homosexual special rights lobby:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/08/opinion/la-ed-textbook-20110408

  27. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Seaborn Roddenberry wrote, "If they want to pick and choose which members of the public they serve, then they aren't eligible to take the public's money."

    Please stick to the truth.

    They weren't refusing to service to homosexuals. They could have had a wedding, party or prom there.

  28. Son of Adam
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Preserve Marriage and DoE, you are absolutely right! Incidents like this are the reason why I no longer support civil unions.

  29. Chairm
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    First, this case is not about a law passed by the legislature. It is about a regulatory change imposed by a b'crat.

    Second, as Daughter of Ve already noted, civil union is not marriage, according to the New Jersey law and its highest court. The bride-groom requirement for a wedding is constitutional and stands as good law in that state.

    Third, Ocean Grove owns the property; it is a religously affiliated operation; the public money is for the beachfront environmental renewal and not for political posturing by homosexual activists. That SSMers would applaude such an abuse of governmental authority is a forewarning to society.

    Fourth, the location in question is not the entire beachfront much less the boardwalk; it is a pavillion open to visitors of all types by invitation of the religiously affiliated operation and, as such, public access is based on the Christian generousity of those who have made private property a platform for community outreach.

    For this the hockers of gay identity politics have penalized their peaceful and generous and tolerant neighbors. These gay extremists seek to push good people out of the public square even when that means abusing those good people on their own well-maintained and welcoming property.

    It is sort of like punks harrassing an pleasant old lady for offerring cupcakes and then beating her about the head and shoulders with her own baking trays.

    Yes, I do think the gay activists have used the machinery of government to do violence to civil society in New Jersey. They are not yet sorry for that. They celebrate and have a growing appetite to do more and more. This they intend as a forewarning. Believe them They mean it.

  30. Chairm
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    First, this case is not about a law passed by the legislature. It is about a regulatory change imposed by a b'crat.

    Second, as Daughter of Eve has already noted, civil union is not marriage, according to the New Jersey law and that state's highest court. The bride-groom requirement for a wedding is constitutional and stands as good law in that state.

    Third, Ocean Grove owns the property; it is a religously affiliated operation; the public money is for the beachfront environmental renewal and not for political posturing by homosexual activists. That SSMers would applaude such an abuse of governmental authority is a forewarning to society.

    Fourth, the location in question is not the entire beachfront much less the boardwalk; it is a pavillion open to visitors of all types by open invitation of the religiously affiliated operation and, as such, public access is based on the Christian generousity of those who have made privately owned property a platform for community outreach.

    Note: It is not government property. It is not publicly owned property. The government does not own the operation.

    For this geneousity and cooperative approach to coward the community zOcean Grove is punished. The hockers of gay identity politics have penalized their peaceful and generous and tolerant neighbors. These gay extremists seek to push good people out of the public square even when that means abusing those good people on their own well-maintained and welcoming property.

    It is sort of like punks harrassing an pleasant old lady for offerring cupcakes and then beating her about the head and shoulders with her own baking trays.

    Yes, I do think the gay activists have used the machinery of government to do violence to civil society in New Jersey. They are not yet sorry for that. They celebrate and have a growing appetite to do more and more. This they intend as a forewarning. Believe them They mean it.

    Their progay bigotry stinks ugly like a polluted waterfront.

  31. Seaborn Roddenberry
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Wow "Preserve Marriage", now you want to roll back anti-discrimination laws too?

    Glad to see what your real agenda is here. Are you going to dust off Anita Bryant and attempt to repeat 1977?

    I think it's really cute that you actually think you have a shot at any of that.

  32. OvercameSSA
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I don't know. I think that public freak shows like this do more harm than good for homosexualists. Look at the gay pride parades. Let the public see what these people truly are: sexually disorientated and in need of help.

  33. Duncan
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    DoE...what law school did you go to?

    "The law they chose to follow was a higher law"

    We as citizens of the United States, (or in this case New Jersey) are required to follow laws made by our own ---- there is no higher natural law that supercedes the laws made by our legislature.

    That is what the 1st amendment is about. And if they want a tax-break, they need to follow the public accomodation laws --- it's secular, not religious, honey.

  34. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Duncan, you are an atheist. Point taken.

  35. Chairm
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Duncan,this case is about a regulatory change. It is not about a law passed by the legislature for this type of application.

    The abuse of governmental authority is the stick with which your political activists use to do violence against civil society.

    Your are morally accountable whether you want to admit it or not. That is the larger point, I think, that Daughter of Eve has made.

    You might agree that sometimes the law gets stuff right. Sometimes the law gets stuff wrong. So how do you fugure out right from wrong if not by following a higher law?

    In this case it is about a regulation, anyway, which is structurally a lower level in the legal system.

  36. Duncan
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    DoE....um, no. Not an atheist. Actually Episcopalian, with a partner who is a member of the Cathedrral of Hope....a mostly gay UCC church in Dallas with 4,000 members.

    How about that!! 4,000 mostly gay church members singing Alleluiah to God and Jesus every Sunday. And receiving the bread and wine ---at Jesus' table where everyone is welcome. (side note, at a Catholic wedding the priest forbade me from communion, somehow divining I wasn't Catholic( I didn't stick out my tongue for the wafer).

    I have never been to any other denomination where one is not allowed the rite of communion. Of course, I've never been in a Southern Baptist church, not wanting to be told what an evil abomination I am......

  37. Daughter of Eve
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    So, Duncan, if a group of Neo-nazi's had wanted to rent the hall, and vent their spleen on racial minorities and "gays," you'd support their right to do so?

  38. Chairm
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    A gaycentric approach to religion does not actually rehabilitate the stink of progay bigotry, Duncan.

  39. Duncan
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    DoE....pro gay bigotry? Where, pray tell?

    Nowhere near the bigotry of the MD 'pastor' (so-called)...what "divinity' school did he attend with all those amen bros, and the disgusting like.

    Worthy of death, eh? gee, so "Christian".

    And to the person above who said Ocean Grove wasn't a 'law'....well, the newspaper said it was, and regulations are binding and legal, dude.

  40. Preserve Marriage
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Seaborn Roddenberry wrote,
    > Wow "Preserve Marriage", now you want to roll back anti-discrimination laws too?

    I question the inclusion of "sexual orientation," formerly called "sexual preference," in lists like race, national origin, gender (immutable characteristics). I know that "sexual orientation" reinforces the false propaganda that states that sexual preference is an immutable characteristic. I question whether a behavior belongs on such a list. Should Dungeons and Dragons players be added to such lists? Softball players? Lobbyists? Politicians? Lawyers?

    > Glad to see what your real agenda is here.

    There's no need for you to lie about my "real agenda" here, or impute things to me, my conveniently cynical and condemning friend. I have openly admitted my agenda -- and would do it again, if I thought that trying to make individual posters was an issue.

    > Are you going to dust off Anita Bryant and attempt to repeat 1977?

    You mean when she asked why homosexuals should be entitled to special rights, or that we needed to save our children?

    Have you gotten a load of how spesial rights activists are using their politipower to force schools to indoctrinate children?
    http://classact2012.com/

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/08/opinion/la-ed-textbook-20110408

  41. Chairm
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Duncan, the b'crat imposed regulation is a lower form of law, as I said. So your objection to what I actually said is, well, idiotic ... dude.

    Sometimes the law gets stuff right and sometimes the law gets stuff wrong. So how do you figure out right from wrong? There is a higher law.

    As for your response to the query about your pro-gay bigotry -- a response in which you implicitly admitted bigotry on your part -- you basically said, 'You too!' and posed as someone who feel his bigotry is more benign.

    Ocean Grove Association's pro-marriage policy for its property is Not bigoted but rather the contrary. The regulation and theactivist support for it is bigoted. Favoring gay identity politics in this case is unjustified. T is a strike against liberty.