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Gay Couple Blocked by Catholic Church in Real Estate Deal Files Suit Alleging Discrimination

Worcesterestate

Back in July Andrew posted about James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, married business partners from Sutton, Massachusetts, who were blocked by the Diocese of Worcester from buying an estate after Monsignor Thomas Sullivan found out that gay weddings might eventually be held on the property.

SullivanFairbanks and Beret are now filing suit, the Boston Globe reports:

Beret, 59, and Fairbanks, 57, plan to file a lawsuit Monday morning in Worcester Superior Court against Sullivan, the bishop, the church’s real estate agent, and the nonprofit retreat center, the House of Affirmation, alleging they discriminated against Beret and Fairbanks on the basis of sexual orientation in the course of a real estate negotiation, violating state law.

“I have lived quietly in the mainstream for nearly 60 years, and I expected to continue that,” Beret said in an interview yesterday. “But I will not continue that at the expense of my dignity.”

Sullivan, in a phone interview yesterday, said he did not even know Fairbanks and Beret were gay, and that his e-mail was taken out of context. The talks fizzled, he said, because the men could not secure financing for their first offer, and their second offer was unacceptable to the church.

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  1. The Diocese of Worcester went on to say that he'd reconsider his stance as long as they let him use the property for one weekend every month for a special retreat involving him, a few priests, and a few altar boys from broken homes who need nurturing and affection.

    dot dot dot.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 10, 2012 1:06:29 PM


  2. Love the "contex. The email thread has been published. Caught!

    Posted by: Bingo | Sep 10, 2012 1:37:02 PM


  3. "Sullivan, in a phone interview yesterday, said he did not even know Fairbanks and Beret were gay..."

    What a foolish man. Go ahead and lie. You further expose both yourself, your 'profession', and your 'church' as corrupt and dishonest.

    Posted by: When Priests Lie | Sep 10, 2012 1:49:44 PM


  4. You expect ignorance from the "Holy Order of the Pedofile", but the downright stupidity is amazing. As someone in the real estate business I can tell you with certainty that this is against the law. The realtor will lose their license and likely pay a very heavy fine. In addition the papists will spend a fortune defending their actions, as they did defending guilty priests even when they knew they would lose. They have an endless supply of money, and a bottomless supply of evil.
    Its about time this this cult started to pay for their dispicable behavior in the name of God. (I was raised catholic and was even an altar boy and it took years of therapy to undo the damage that was done).

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Sep 10, 2012 1:49:56 PM


  5. Yeah, the fact that he's now trying to backtrack on "context" is a sign the Diocese knows they're in trouble on this. Note to the Monsignor: you can try the "context" sham when claiming a reporter misquoted what you said in a private interview, but email lives forever, babe.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Sep 10, 2012 1:53:20 PM


  6. Yeah, hard to take something out of context when it is plainly written out in an email. Screw him and his church - I hope the couple takes them to the bank.

    Posted by: KT | Sep 10, 2012 2:08:59 PM


  7. Let's give the msgr. some room here. He may not have known the potential buyers were gay but understood that a former retreat house would be an ideal place to perform weddings...maybe even abortions. Orgies. Satan loves to mock his Creator in such ways. It might even be rented to some fundieprots in October to entertain with a Hell House.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Sep 10, 2012 2:23:49 PM


  8. Personally, I think anytime the Catholic church is sued, it's a good thing. Of course, I also think that anytime a church is sued, regardless of denomination, it's a good thing.

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 10, 2012 2:29:59 PM


  9. Of course I absolutely hate the catholic church but I'm not sure what's really going on. The church didn't need to open themselves up to a lawsuit to get out of this transaction. The buyers inspections revealed problems and these were not negotiable between the parties. Deal over!
    Perfectly legal way to end a purchase agreement. Something smells bad here. Need more info.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Sep 10, 2012 3:11:27 PM


  10. It might not be against the law if commercial property is not covered by anti-discrimination laws.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 10, 2012 3:24:29 PM


  11. Wow, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church is becoming more immoral and less Christian every day. I think it is time for all faithful Roman Catholics to rise up against the current pope and archbishops and stand up for Christ and His teachings of love, radical inclusion, non-judgmentalism, social justice, and generosity. I would suggest at least withholding all funds and shifting one's tithes to organizations working to end misogyny, homophobia, money laundering, church and state separation violation, and child abuse in the hierarchy.

    Posted by: DB | Sep 10, 2012 5:36:58 PM


  12. The Catholic church has more money than the two guys so the two guys will lose.

    Until we make religions pay their fair of taxes which will reduce their massive fortunes then we will never beat them in court. The US justice system is all about money. Why should a religion be exempt from paying taxes when they have investments on the stock markets making them MILLIONS and sometimes BILLIONS each year ? They should pay taxes like every other profit-making business. There is no difference.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 10, 2012 6:18:27 PM


  13. Every time the 'catholic' 'church' is sued, an angel lawyer gets a pair of wings.

    Posted by: Ano di Ratzinger | Sep 10, 2012 6:25:39 PM


  14. You want more information? It's in the image at the top of this story. Church officials cut off negotiations, but then the 2 gay guys found an email that they were given by accident in which the Monsignor writes to teh real estate dealer:

    “I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop. Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. 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.”

    No wiggle room there.

    Stupid thing is, anyone who buys the property and uses it as an event or hospitality space will be hosting same-sex weddings. That can't be stopped.

    Posted by: Bingo | Sep 10, 2012 7:19:18 PM


  15. If only they would block the pedophile priest who rape and abuse children.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 10, 2012 7:56:15 PM


  16. If you think that the ROMAN Catholic church is f*cked up and it is, check out every other religion on the planet. ISLAM, JUDAISM, Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestantism, Hinduism, Scientology, Mormonism etc. They are all throw backs to a primative time. Except for Scientology and Mormonism which are fairly modern forms of bull s*it!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 11, 2012 1:29:34 AM


  17. If someone doesn't want to sell you their property for whatever reason, I say that is their business. Stop whining and go buy another property. I think so many young LGBT folks are just cry babies. I think we have raised a generation of LGBT folks who don't know what hardship and struggle are and are just whiners. Grow the f*ck up!

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 11, 2012 3:08:58 AM


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