Vermont: Catholic-owned inn forced to pay large fines for refusing lesbian wedding reception

The assault on the freedom of religion continues as this Catholic-owned country inn, who refused to host a lesbian wedding reception due to deeply held religious beliefs, is forced to capitulate to a lawsuit and pay a hefty fine because they don’t have the “limitless resources of the government and the ACLU” to keep defending their belief in traditional marriage:

CBN NEWS – A Vermont country inn is paying large penalties after being sued by a lesbian couple.

The American Civil Liberties Union helped the two New York women sue the Catholic-owned business located in the town of Lyndonville.

They argued The Wildflower Inn had no right to refuse to host the the couple’s “bride and bride” wedding reception.

The inn’s owners have agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the Vermont Human Rights Commission and place $20,000 in a charitable trust.

“The Wildflower Inn has always served — and will continue to serve — everyone in our community,” owner Jim O’Reilly said in a statement. “But no one can force us to abandon our deeply held beliefs about marriage.”

O’Reilly said the inn could not “match the limitless resources of the government and the ACLU.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom represented the inn’s owners. The organization said they had stopped hosting all wedding events months beforehand, but agreed to the settlement to put the expensive case behind them.

When those who want same-sex marriage gain a legal right, those who disagree lose a legal right. It’s just that simple.

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  • johnos2112

    And here it comes. Pastors are now being FORCED to perform ceremonies. Now tell me folks, who is really under attack here? This is why I do not support gay marriage. These people force their will on people. Screw em! No pun intended! You want to get married get your own damn religion and perform your OWN ceremony! Enough of this crap!

    • kamiller42

      Remember in the old days when they would say “The government has no business in my bedroom.” Apparently, they meant their bedroom has the right to be in our businesses.

    • TLaMana

      The forced service should go as follows:

      Pastor turns to the Butch, “Do you?”

      She responds, “I do.”

      Pastor turns to the Fem, “Do you?”

      She responds, “I do.”

      Pastor replies, “God Doesn’t, but sign here and get out”

      • bayway48

        roflmao…good one!!!

      • Orangeone

        Pastor replies, “God Doesn’t and I follow God’s laws. Get out.”

    • Exactly. “…get your own religion and perform your own damn ceremony”. I just don’t understand why none of the gay “rights” people seem to get that simple point! The early Baptists weren’t allowed to perform marriages, and had to fight against the government and other churches for the right. They didn’t try to force themselves on the Church of England or any other religion. But it doesn’t seem to be about religion to these people as much as it is about forcing others to abandon their interpretation of God’s laws.

    • el_polacko

      just as catholics are not “forced” to perform jewish ceremonies, NOBODY is “forcing” any pastor to bless anybody’s marriage. a religious ceremony is not required in order to be legally married but there are many religions that will bless the union if that is so desired. your comment is hysterically mis-informed.

      • agas84363

        yes you are right…..the point you are missing is that hall is private property and the owner should be able to rent it, or not rent it, to anyone he wants without the threat of bullies forcing him to do anything!!!

      • johnos2112

        Uh what part of that article did you not see?  CATHOLIC institution?  You really do not think the gay couples will NOT put pressure on these people to perform these ceremonies?  Read what is said in a ceremony.  The term GOD comes up and GOD does NOT support gay marriage.  I am being realistic and you mistake that with being hysterical!

    • The LGBT/ACLU goal isn’t to be married, the goal is to destroy the foundation of marriage, ordained by GOD. I think it’s important to separate “gay activists” from homosexuals, just as they have distanced themselves from “homosexual”. Homosexuality is a legitimate mental health disorder which entails more than the same-sex component. The APA needs to be brought to task for removing it from the DSM in 1974 under pressure from “gay activist” protests which began in 1971. If this was about the homosexual, Bill Clinton signing “same-sex” between consenting adults would have been exclusive to homosexuals, not the entire population. That law needs to be either repealed or revised to reflect the true nature of the beast of homosexuality.

  • Army_Pilot1967

    Chip….chip…..chip…..more liberties/freedoms are being taken away bit by bit by a minority faction that insists on forcing its views on others, including religious facilities. Seems they could have had their reception at a facility that would had welcomed them with open arms, rather than forcing the Wildflower Inn to go against their religious beliefs and yield to something it didn’t want to do.

    • Spartan1975

      these people do it on purpose and will go out of their way to find a church or religious organization that opposes them… they want to make as much noise and publicity for their cause as possible, it does not have the same effect to go to another place that will do the ceremony! This is an outright attack on liberty of speech and religion aided by the government and the spineless ACLU who only defend their views….

      • publius1969

        agreed. These people are trying to force us to accept their deviancies. The line needs to be drawn and we have to get behind organizations that defend these victims of religious perscution. I never thought we would reach this point in our country’s health…the hour is late

    • Betsey_Ross

      It’s more fun to force your so-called enemies to submit. It’s sick, but they must get great pleasure out of it.

      • Army_Pilot1967

        You’re probably correct and they get the ACLU to take on the case. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the same side of an issue that the ACLU takes on…

      • RighteousCrow_JustCaws

        What a lovely way to begin your matrimonial life together.

  • Smith Smith

    This would lose in court, but the church will either pay 3-4 times more in lawyer and court fees or pay this to shut them up. This is why everystate should have a law like Texas and others, you sue someone and you lose, you pay all the cost. It is to easy to do this kinda stuff.

    • Orangeone

      And so many of these critters are lawyers, simply the slime of the Earth.

  • DCGere

    How disheartening….I’d hate to be a business owner these days.

  • Sober_Thinking

    This is sickening… but we are the winners in the end. Jesus already secured the victory!

    Let’s continue to fight this growing darkness.

  • p m

    So, Human Rights Commissions have shown up now, eh?

    Mark Steyn and Ezra Levin have had the full treatment from these blackmailing bastids, who only defend the rights of a select few while simultaneously doing down those of the ‘accused’. This exact same thing has happened so many times in the UK.

    These HRCs are all over the place now, except where they might be useful, ya know, like the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Syria and so on, ad infinitum.

    It’s always the soft targets they go for, and often their own people gin up ‘complaints’, as they do in Canada and Europe. They need to be got rid of, asap, along with all the other PC lib-invented NGOs and general busybodies and nosy parkers.

    • las1

      The Catholic B&B or Country Inn were targeted. Pure and simple. It’s lawfare.

  • Isn’t this their own private business? right of refusal to serve anyone? Unbelievably un-American.

  • NanNJ

    Good for you Wildflower Inn. They will be divorced in a couple of years anyway. If they really loved each other, they would have gone somewhere else. They were just trying to prove their point.

  • kamiller42

    Where is the ACLU’s position on “No shoes. No shirt. No service.”? ACLU, working hard to ruin a nation.

    • Orangeone

      We need to do away with the ACLU and their bleeding heart slimy lawyer staff.

  • 911Infidel

    So tell me again who are the real extremists? Cause it sure isn’t the right. Seems to me the tolerant ones were the people that put this country together in the first place. Trouble is, they let their “tolerance” get taken over by the left. And now it is the left that is trying to annihilate genuine tolerance in the name of a godless multiculuralist philosophy.
    It is the tyranny of the minority that is on full display.

    • bayway48

      We saw this same type of tyranny on MSNBC, et al with the BC joke. It’s either full throttal their way or it is no way. Tolerance has no definition unless it is defined by the left.

      • 911Infidel

        Yep. Tolerance is a one way street in commie-land. Its their way or the highway. Everything else comming out of their yaps is just white noise.

  • detectivedick

    It is always about the money. A fine, Fee or Tax is just another way of controlling behavior and redistribution. Do it the old fashion way, triple your cost of the service and the wacko’s will go elsewhere.

  • toongoon

    Sharia comes to America wearing the mask of tolerance.

    • Orangeone

      Wait until Sharia comes knocking on their doors. There is no tolerance for this behavior and they take no prisoners.

    • 12grace

      Yes, well-stated, t.

  • denbren52

    STAND YOUR GROUND!!! If enough citizens stand their ground, tyranny cannot win!!!

  • Don

    When the minority is able to legally force their will on religious freedoms of the majority on the scale we see today it is coming from Obama and his appointed thugs to break the will of the people in order to force the transformation of our country down our thoats. Our country was founded because of religious persecution and now we are seeing that happen again with absolutely no regards for our Constitutional rights. History is repeating itself.

    • Rightstuff1

      That’s a really great point.

    • This is why this President must be voted out in November!

  • MaxineCA

    Here’s a more detailed story. Looks to me that the owners were set up. Here’s a portion of the article:

    “A former Wildflower employee sparked the lawsuit when she falsely claimed that the inn would not allow a same-sex reception,” the alliance said in a statement. “The inn’s actual business practice, which the Vermont Human Rights Commission approved in 2005, was to honestly disclose its owners’ religious convictions to potential customers while agreeing to serve everyone in accordance with the law.”

    Read more:

    • Orangeone

      Looks like workplace retaliation to me.

  • poljunkie

    Crazy times, folks. Crazy times.

  • B-Funk

    On principle, we need to gather these businesses together and as one they can tell the aclu and gov’t where to shove it!

    • Landscaper

      Colonoscopy for(of) the Liberal…

  • Landscaper

    Just another Chick-Fil-A, cupcake shop story here. This Inn will get flooded with calls for reservations from people who otherwise would never heard of this place. Way to go ACLU, you just made this Inn FAMOUS! Backfire is a Bi**ch.

  • Nukeman60

    Well, I guess it’s on. Two sides can play this game.

    I think it’s high time someone decided to plan a huge Roman Catholic marriage ceremony, with all the trimmings, in a California gay community church and then find a neighborhood Mosque in which to hold the wedding reception, with the center piece of the feast being roast pig and tons of bacon.

    One wonders how quick the left will be to decry freedom of religion for these poor gays and muslims. It’s worth a shot, though (even though I suspect we would lose that lawsuit as well).

    I agree with Smith Smith, it’s time for losers of every lawsuit to have to pay all the fees and costs of the winners. It may not stop these stupid lawsuits, but the ACLU would finally back off, as money is more important to them than individual rights.

    • “find a neighborhood Mosque in which to hold the wedding reception, with the center piece of the feast being roast pig and tons of bacon.” Do we need a wedding to do that? Can we do it anyway?

      • Orangeone

        Great idea! What about the R Squared victory parties all held at Mosques with roasted pig and bacon as the main courses!

      • Nukeman60

        You know I love bacon!!!

        • p m

          We could do with a bacon thread – I’m serious. Food of the Gods.
          Tried thick-sliced alder-smoked? Divine :))

      • 12grace


  • bayway48

    What a bunch of bull crap. I’m going to pass this on the my brother. A Baptist minister would not perform his marriage to his wife because he had been married before. The minister did not believe in divorce regardless of the circumstances. Did my brother make a stink about it? No, he just asked my Methodist Bishop to join them in matrimony and he did so gladly. The owners of this Inn will get their $10K back by Christmas with an onslaught of bookings. My brother will be in that area in September to watch the fall foliage. He just might do a second honeymoon at this quaint Vermont Inn.

  • no wonder people dislike gays…

  • “When those who want same-sex marriage gain a legal right, those who disagree lose a legal right it’s just that simple.” Scoop

    And that’s what the homosexual lobby is aiming for. It’s too bad the folks who own this inn can’t find help enough to fight this sham of a case, because now that they’ve paid a so called “human rights” organization, they will be targeted in the future until they’re forced to sell out. Since when does a private business have to accept any business they don’t want? What’s next, being forced to rent space to illegals for free? Rent space to people who have a pet hog and demand rights to let them have their pet in their room? I mean where will it end.

    Three cheers for the homosexual lobby, I’m sure they’re thrilled. Too bad that private citizens are no longer able to have the freedom of thought.

    • michael carpenter

      There is no better force for democracy than a free market. It seams to me that this issue, more than many others, exemplifies this truth. If a gay couple really believes in freedom they would find an inn that would agree with their world view. But no! Instead, they file a lawsuit forcing the Catholic Inn to PAY! Forcing all of us, who disagree with them, to buy what they are selling instead of them finding a buyer of there goods.

      • I agree Michael. They care more about their agenda and what they want than they do a free market. It’s almost like payback and now they have the opportunity because of the “first gay president”. Blech!

  • Orangeone

    This is absolutely obsurd. The Inn owners have their rights under the constitution and the lessies can go to a state that accepts this illecit behavior.

  • sDee

    Every (you-fill-in-the-blank) Rights “movement” in America has been designed to give rights to one group not granted another. They have all at the same time taken away our right of association.

    The same “conservative” women like Condoleezza Rice, who cheer on the marxist coercion of Augusta National cannot see, they are no different than these lesbian thugs.

    When we grant rights to some citizens, not granted to others, we willingly give up our freedom.

  • Again…religious freedom or forced tyranny??? Sorry if I am not mistaken this is a private inn??? They take no public money then why should they be forced to serve to lesbians? Again the ACLU is the greatest institution seeking the destruction of the US from within? Any traditional value is untolerated….get rid of prayer in school, destroy Christmas, force behavior on someone that does not agree and more!! There are plenty of places these two lovebirdettes could have been married!! Go look up in one of your Gay Guides. No one has to accept your behavior and most never will not matter what you think. IT IS NURTURE NOT NATURE and no matter how hard these kooks think they can force themselves upon the rest of us THEY WILL NEVER SUCCEED. What you do is your business but I am sick of these type of people thinking they have the right to infringe on your beliefs. Go workship at the alter of the BUTCH and find some heshe to marry you and stay in their barnyard!!

  • EpicCenter

    Hey Scoop! Is there a way to donate to them? Let us know with an update!

  • Arrrggghhh

    Political correctness warning! Do not read further if you are offended by political incorrectness. If you enjoy it, please be sure to continue.

    Many years ago, a young woman asked me why many straight men have an odd obsession with explicit photographs of lesbians together. In a stunning moment of absolute crystal clarity it occurred to me and I responded virtually instantly:

    Two naked chicks!

    This is an absolutely true story and I consider this my most brilliant moment to date.

  • gothicreader

    I’m glad they held to their beliefs.
    Paying the penalty is nonsensical compared to capitulating. As Jesus said; we will be persecuted because of our love for Him.

  • texflower

    I wonder about the “charitable trust ” eh ?

  • Watchman74

    So yea, same sex marriage doesn’t just affect those involved, it has an effect on society as well. Case in point this article.

  • joyfulgiver

    I say we all start sending them a few bucks to help in their defense. Rise up! Do the Chick-Fil-A.

  • Now we’ve lost the freedom to choose those with whom we want to serve in our business.
    I reject many potential clients for a lot or reasons..No one has sued yet but I’m selling it ASAP because I feel threatened all the time now..

  • 12grace

    The bible says it is wrong and the state says it is right. Pick one.

    Hagee: Gay Marriage = ‘Kiss This Country Goodbye’

    John Piper – Why is homosexuality wrong?

    Were the Catholic owners of the INN right to deny the lesbian couple? I believe they were following bible doctrine, the bible says homosexuality is wrong in the eyes of the Lord and assisting others to sin is a great wrong. I think the Lesbian couple is out of line to expect the INN to by-pass their religious convictions for the couple.

    The popular false belief is that if Christians are loving toward one another they should not speak out against homosexuality or other types of sin. Love the sinner not the sin.

    Another false belief is that Christians that speak out against homosexuality hate gay people ad mean them harm. Christianity is founded on principles of peace and love. Christians would never incite violence or cruelty of any kind on gay people or any other group.

  • el_polacko

    what the heck does “catholic-owned” mean ?? the vatican owns the inn ?
    even if that is the case, if you are running a public accomodation business and there are non-discrimination laws that apply to such businesses, then you must adhere to the law regardless of any personal bias. that’s not an “attack on religion”.

  • el_polacko

    good grief ! did anyone here actually read the article? this is not about a church performing a ceremony, it’s about the renting of a reception hall. sheesh…some of you folks really are blinded by bigotry.

    • JoeMontana16

      So now sodomy is bigotry. Wow. What’s the next thing liberals will throw into the hate speech category. Sodomy is not a civil rights issue. Its a sexual preference and you are allowed to do it. Just like beastiality. Its your preference and people dont have to agree with it. There is a thing called religious freedom and the ability to do so. If sodomites don’t like the Inns beliefs then don’t go there! !!

    • donalddt

      Would you call Jesus a bigot? You can’t call people bigots because they disagree with you. Remember what happened to Sodom.

  • publius1969

    even if obama manages to steal another election, we must pressure our reps, and I mean really pressure our reps, to defund the aclu. They have been using our money to take God out of our culture. This is one example of lawfare and forcing acceptance of the unnatural. I don’t care what these people do in private but neither they nor the government have the right to force us to accept this crap. We have to stop this insanity…

  • Yazz55

    I see this as a very dangerous double edge sword type of an issue. It swings both ways.

    I saw this article about a muslim owned hotel discriminating against an Israeli group, based on nationality.

  • Sad that the owners of the inn were not represented by some of the many conservative legal groups out there that would have represented them for free. This sounds like a case that could have gone all the way to the Supreme Court. And the court probably would have sided with the inn. The court usually comes down on the side of religious freedom and this case forces the inn’s owners to toss out their religious beliefs in favor of doing what a political minority wants. Pity, it was a good case and had a good chance of being won all the way up to the Supreme Court.

  • I wonder if the ACLU would defend a Christian or Jewish couple who wished to have their reception at a Muslim-owned venue?

  • GaltLine

    Don’t pay the fines. Run full page ads all over Vermont. Describe the Vermont Uncivil Human Rights Commission coercion and why you will not comply. You will make up for the fines by all your allies in and out of the state who will flock to your business, paying customers.

  • This isn’t going to stop. And I fear it will get worse and worse. Wouldn’t it be great if someone set up a fund that took donations and that money could be used to help pay legal fees for people like the Inn owners? There is a strong chance we’ll never win this battle in court. But we can help people stand up for their beliefs by helping them pay the fines that come from the liberal courts. Just a thought…

  • Yet they would be allowed to deny service to a heterosexual couple and not have to give a reason. Government compelling business to serve others? That’s what fascism looks like, liberal idiots!

  • libertyandtyranny

    The left only wants freedom for them, not for you. Such intolerant BIGOTS.

  • Absolute Bloody disgrace! What happened to Catholics rights? Christians rights?

    We all saw this happening when homosexual “marriage” was forced upon us by the Libtards!

  • bobemakk

    This is a disgrace, traditional marriage between a man and a woman only…..that’s it.

  • Post911GI

    This is unbelievebly sad, if i were a nudist and demanded service at a mcdonalds i’d be locked up (granted there are other factors in play) but at the core it goes agaisnt their rules and neither the government nor these lesbo attention-hor’s should have any say in a private entities policy.

    There is a section in our constitution, which i proudly swore to defend, that gives citizens the responsiblity to take action in times such as these. If not now, when? If not us, who? This is some scary stuff and unfortunately for the libs my bible and my guns are all that can comfort me for now…

  • physicsnut

    its really about time to sue the ACLU out of existence, along with any of these socalled judges and juries who go along with this – they just don’t care what the Bill of Rights says.

  • chatterbox365

    Next time a pro-gay initiative comes up in your state, you all know how to vote.

    I remember when the gays just wanted to come out of the closet and live peaceful in our society. The ACLU is a rotten organization.

    • Anti-Christian, Libtard Union!

      • Jay

        I thought it was Anti-American Communist Leftoid Unit. I guess I stand corrected.

  • nc

    This kind of nonsense won’t stop as long as this tiny percentage of our population continues to dominate the national conversation. One false assumption they have gotten many to buy into is: opposing gay marriage =racial bigotry.

  • GeorgiaPeachie

    Where are people’s legal right to RELIGIOUS FREEDOM??? We need to put an end to the attack on Christians by the depraved!

  • Ruthie3

    I’d be holding an old fashion tent-revival on the same day as the scheduled wedding reception! Bring in some snake-handlers from WV & KY & TN (I’m from TN so don’t get offended) and let them hold court on that same day. Fire with Fire!