Discrimination | Massachusetts | News | Religion

Catholic Diocese Blocks Estate Sale Over Gay Marriage Panic: VIDEO


Alain Beret and his partner Jim recently put in a $1 million offer on a Worcester, Massachusetts, home and land being sold by the local Catholic Diocese. They hoped to renovate the historic location and then rent it out for weddings and other memorable occasions.

Things seemed all well and good until, seemingly out of the blue, the Diocese canceled the sale. Later, while reviewing the paper work, Beret noticed an emailed accidentally forwarded by Monsignor Thomas Sullivan that ordered the realtor to put the kibosh on the sale lest the venue be used for same-sex marriages.

"Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there….we are not interested in going forward with these buyers," reads the memo obstained by CBS Boston. "I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language."

Though the church rejected another, higher offer made by Beret, a lawyer, he says he will continue his efforts, "I have lived almost 60 years quietly in the mainstream, and I would like to continue that, but I will not do that at the expense of my dignity." He also may file a lawsuit.

"This is a state centered transaction, this is not a Church transaction, this is not a theological discussion, it’s nothing more than that. I believe the Church has engaged in an activity that may be illegal in Massachusetts," he said.

Watch video of the CBS Boston report AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. The Catholics need to block the pedophile priest and the ones who enable the pedophile priest to rape and abuse children.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 26, 2012 11:59:00 PM

  2. Is this not against the law ? Oh, no of course it's not. This is this is the USA - there are virtually no laws to protect gay people because the Republicans control almost everything even if the Democrats are in power.

    The US is a disgrace. This is not a democracy.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 27, 2012 12:03:55 AM

  3. @Luke OK let me sell you something and be able to tell you what to do with it in perpetuity.

    Posted by: Gus | Jul 27, 2012 1:34:28 AM

  4. We need to start ATTACKING religion and religious people the same way they have us. They can't prove ANYTHING in these man made fairy tale books, but SOOOOOO much of our society and law and elected officials want to derive our LIVES based on a fake..*F-A-K-E* "holy" book that has yet to be proven that it exists (because it doesn't and never did)
    The pressure shouldn't be on us proving why gays deserve full equality, it should be on religious people who swear their MAN MADE book is truth to PROVE everything in it. We need PROOF that your Bible is real, otherwise, it is irrelevant garbage like using the book Cinderella to make laws.

    Posted by: 2Fathers | Jul 27, 2012 2:07:50 AM

  5. Icebloo: As usual your remarks are extremists. The USA , as flawed as it may be , is one of the greatest democracy in human history. This gay man loves this country, served in the U S Navy, votes in elections and along with millions of others has gradually made this country better. You are factually so incorrect, I wonder if it is ignorance or malace on your part. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are just ignorant.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 27, 2012 3:19:19 AM

  6. bostonfairhousing-dot-org indicates that it is illegal for a single-unit to discriminate against a house buyer based on sexual orientation, regardless of whether the owner is an individual or partnership/corporation, providing that the house being sold is a single-unit dwelling.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Jul 27, 2012 3:45:51 AM

  7. *my first "single-unit" should be "house seller."

    Posted by: TommyOC | Jul 27, 2012 3:47:20 AM

  8. They have done it before. They would rather see historic buildings torn down than sell them to "certain" people. What a shame the MA church rather sell a historic church in Springfield. The historic and beautiful French Church in downtown Springfield MA was torn down to build an ugly and smaller bank building rather than sell it to gay run historic groups.

    Posted by: a shame | Jul 27, 2012 5:43:02 AM

  9. Isn't it against the law to discriminate when it comes to real estate? Too bad the bishops can't operate a simple e-mail without blowing it (no pun intended). Interesting...I sure hope these guys know a good contract lawyer...sounds like these guys have a very generou$ ca$e on their hands.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jul 27, 2012 5:44:13 AM

  10. These guys can and I'm sure will hire great lawyers. because they have a SOLID case, considering the Mass laws in place.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Jul 27, 2012 9:50:17 AM

  11. Ha! Probably selling this to pay for the lawsuits over pedophilia, and now they'll have to sell MORE properties to pay for the lawsuit over this! I love it!

    Posted by: KevinVt | Jul 27, 2012 10:02:59 AM

  12. LUKE: Well Luke, if you have no problem with someone refusing to sell to gays --just because they're gay-- then I guess you have no problem with EVERYONE refusing to sell to gays! Me thinks you would be one of the loudest squealers! And I guess you have no problem with whites refusing to sell to blacks only because they're black! Nice KKK attitude you're sporting these days!

    Posted by: dancobbb | Jul 27, 2012 10:03:33 AM

  13. LUKE, we didn't do too well in school, huh?

    Posted by: dancobbb | Jul 27, 2012 10:04:44 AM

  14. The Diocese said they didn't have time to respond to this today. Of course they didn't. They're still responding to the 15th century.

    Posted by: Amanda B. Rekendwith | Jul 27, 2012 10:51:10 AM

  15. If the couple offered full price and met all of the requirements of the deal, the church is solidly in the wrong and they will lose if it goes to court.

    Something not unlike this recently happened to me and my partner. In the end we did not get the property. This is what we learned: Keep you mouth shut about how you intend to use a property. It is nobody's business and not everyone is going to share in your enthusiasm or vision. A painful lesson for us, but a lesson nonetheless.

    The couple in the article should consider doing a blind sale through a (different) attorney. It's probably too late for that now though.

    Posted by: DC | Jul 27, 2012 11:05:20 AM

  16. The Diocese put the property up for sale. A private citizen gave a reasonable and honorable bid. The Diocese accepted the bid, then reneged because of a suspicion with no confirmation of the "potentiality" that the space would be used for "gay marriages" if the property was sold to the apparent highest bidder. This thing is so blatantly discriminatory on so many levels that it practically is screaming for a lawsuit. I hope Mr. Beret will look this gift horse square in the mouth and sue the Diocese for all its worth.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 27, 2012 11:23:00 AM

  17. Once again, here's evidence that the catholic church is an evil organization. Screw the church.

    Posted by: John | Jul 27, 2012 11:57:37 AM

  18. The law protecting minority home buyers is based on sale price. You can't charge more to a minority than a non-minority, and you can't refuse an open auction price from a minority. It does not mean that you can't withdraw the sale altogether, which would affect all buyers equally.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 27, 2012 1:22:56 PM

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