Keep in mind the owner agreed to host their same-sex wedding, he simply told them he believed in traditional marriage.
LYNDONVILLE, Vt. (BP) — A Vermont bed and breakfast has settled a lawsuit brought by the state’s Human Rights Commission and two women who wanted to have a same-sex wedding reception on the inn’s property.
The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville agreed to pay $10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission as a civil penalty for violating Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act as well as $20,000 in a charitable trust to be controlled by the couple, the Burlington Free Press reported Aug. 23.
“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,” owner Jim O’Reilly, a Catholic, said in a statement. “Our beliefs haven’t changed, but we do have lives to live, a family to love, a business to grow, and a community to serve.
“Small businesses like ours cannot match the limitless resources of the government and the ,” O’Reilly said. “Ongoing litigation like this can cripple any small business and the livelihood of its owners, so we’re relieved to put this ordeal behind us.”
The story dates back to 2005 when two other women asked Wildflower to host their civil union ceremony and O’Reilly said he would be willing to host the ceremony in compliance with state law but disclosed his belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Those two women filed a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, which investigated Wildflower and determined that O’Reilly acted lawfully. Wildflower continued to respond to inquiries about same-sex ceremonies and receptions in a similar manner, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Wildflower in the recent case.