Vermont Innkeepers Who Refused Lesbian Wedding Reception Settle with ACLU
The Roman Catholic owners of a Vermont bed-and-breakfast inn agreed this week to pay a total of $30,000 to a lesbian couple that wanted to hold a same-sex wedding reception on their property, WORLD News Service reports. The O'Reilly family, who owns the Wildflower Inn, must pay $20,000 to a trust fund the lesbian women set up and $10,000 to the pro-homosexual Human Rights commission. The ACLU filed the suit in 2011 after Katherine Baker and Ming-Lien Linsley contacted the inn about their reception, and Jim O'Reilly said his family settled because he had little choice. "No one can force us to abandon our deeply held beliefs about marriage," he said. "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 ACLU. 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."