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Vermont resort settles lawsuit brought after refusing to host lesbian wedding reception

Joseph McCormick August 23, 2012
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A settlement, including paying out $30,000, and no longer being allowed to host wedding receptions, has been reached by a US venue which refused to host a wedding party for a lesbian couples’ wedding because of the owners’ Catholic beliefs.

The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont, has agreed to pay $20,000 to a charitable trust to be distributed by the couple and $10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

Ming Linsley, 35, said: “We’re glad that the Wildflower Inn has recognised that the way we were treated was wrong and that no other family will have to experience what we did.”

“All families should feel welcome at any resort that’s open to the public.”

Kate Linsley, 32, said: “We didn’t want to stay quiet and allow businesses to continue to think they can discriminate.”

The Inn owner, Jim O’Reilly, also commented on the settlement, saying his business could not: “match the limitless resources of the government and the [American Civil Liberties Union].”

“The Wildflower Inn has always served – and will continue to serve – everyone in our community. But no one can force us to abandon our deeply held beliefs about marriage,”

The Linsleys, both from New York City announced they were suing the venue for refusing to host their wedding reception in autumn 2010.

Kate and Ming Linsley said they were “saddened” and “shocked” when the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville turned them away after the owners realised they were lesbians.

Jim and Mary O’Reilly, devout Catholics said they had never refused gay couples food or accommodation but did not feel they could celebrate a same-sex union “because it goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in”.

More: America, Americas, Discrimination, gay marriage, marriage, US, Vermont

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