Gay couple sues church for refusing to sell them house

It happened in Massachusetts.  Details: 

A gay couple from Massachusetts has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester for allegedly refusing to sell them a mansion because church officials were concerned they would host gay weddings at the site.

James Fairbanks and Alain Beret filed their discrimination suit Monday in Worcester Superior Court.

They allege that they were in negotiations to buy Oakhurst, a former retreat center in Northbridge, when church officials suddenly pulled out.

They say they inadvertently received an email from the chancellor of the diocese to the church’s broker saying the reason was because of the “potentiality of gay marriages” at the home.

Chancellor Thomas Sullivan says the church dropped out of negotiations because of concerns about Fairbanks’ and Beret’s ability to finance the purchase.

Additional details, from the Boston Globe: 

Sullivan, in a phone interview yesterday, said he did not even know Fairbanks and Beret were gay, and that his e-mail was taken out of context. The talks fizzled, he said, because the men could not secure financing for their first offer, and their second offer was unacceptable to the church.

“They didn’t have the money, that was it,” he said.

It was not until weeks after the financing fell through, he said, that the church’s broker told him that, in her presence, Fairbanks and Beret had mentioned hosting same-sex weddings at Oakhurst.

Sullivan said, however, that the church, as a matter of policy, will not sell properties where Masses have been celebrated to people who plan to host same-sex weddings. Thechurch will not sell to developers who plan to transform them into abortion clinics either, he said — or to bars, lounges, or other kinds of uses that church officials deem inappropriate.

“We wouldn’t sell our churches and our properties to any of a number of things that would reflect badly on the church,” he said. “These buildings are sacred to the memory of Catholics.”


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