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Lesbian Brides Insulted by Rejection of Wedding Plans Compels Vermont Inn to Stop Holding Weddings for Good
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The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, northern Vermont, has settled a lawsuit brought against it by Kate Linsley (nee Baker) and Ming Linsley, after the inn refused host the lesbian couple’s wedding reception. Under the settlement, the inn will pay $ 10,000 to the Vermont Human Rights Commission, place $ 20,000 in a charitable trust for disbursement by the Linsleys, and will no longer hold any wedding receptions.

Jim O’Reilly, the owner of the business made it amply clear that he was ready to bend than break holding that he was settling because his business could not “match the limitless resources of the government and the ACLU.” In a statement issued by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the owner of the inn said, “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 dispute arose when upon asking for the service of the inn in response to promotional materials claiming “you could not offer a better ‘destination wedding’ location for your guests,” the couple informed that it would be “bride and bride” on the reception. An immediate email was received from the events director of the inn with the title, “I have bad news.” The mail communicated to the couple that the Wildflower Inn would not host the reception due to “personal feelings” of the innkeeper.

  
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This was a bit odd as Vermont is counted among the most liberal U.S. states and had legalized same-sex marriages in 2009, while it had recognized civil unions from 2000. Also, the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act prohibits businesses that serve the general public, except religious organizations and inns with less than five rooms, from denying goods and services based on the sexual orientation of customers.

The Linsleys sued in Vermont Superior Court. Kate Linsley told the media, “We didn’t want to stay quiet and allow businesses to continue to think they can discriminate.” The ACLU backed the lesbian couple and the Vermont Human Rights Commission joined as co-plaintiff in the suit.

It’s all settled now, but there would be no more weddings at Wildflower Inn.

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