1. Javier says

    Bigoted or not, they should not be forced to host receptions or weddings that violate their religious beliefs. It is one thing to outlaw discrimination based on who someone is, but it is another to say that a business owner to host events and actions that violate their religious moral beliefs. I think that is where we go too far, and it creates a big wedge issue for the anti-gay forces to use. I think we could very well lose Maine over this type of issue.

  2. Disgusted American says

    javier- so its ok then IF they dont like Inter-racial cpls then? Black cpls? Where does it end? My religion says I shouldnt rent to dull looking ugly dweebs – so I dont wanna rent to them? WHERE DOES IT STOP??? either you are in business to SERVE the public or you are not

  3. Gregus says

    Yes Javier, sure. And if a business decides that they don’t want to serve black people because of their ‘beliefs’ they should be free to as we’ll? If you run a business you cannot discriminate in who you serve. Period.

  4. says


    It would have happened even without marriage equality.

    The law they broke was the law about discrimination in public accommodations, which has been in place since 1992, long before marriage and even before civil unions.

  5. says

    Typical bait-and-switch, like the Massresistance nonsense about “teaching marriage in the schools.” It’s about nondiscrimination whether or not you have marriage equality.

    Maine already has a similar nondiscrimination law, so the same thing could happen even without marriage.

  6. says

    Typical bait-and-switch, like the Massresistance nonsense about “teaching marriage in the schools.” It’s about nondiscrimination whether or not you have marriage equality.

    Maine already has a similar nondiscrimination law, so the same thing could happen even without marriage.

  7. John says

    I am not a lawyer, but I do believe that there are “Public Accommodation Laws” set the rules here. If they have a license to offer the public their services, then they have to conform to those rules. If they do not have a license, they could not be in business. So, it have been decided either all, or none, I guess they are choosing none! And that is pure choice!

  8. says

    Portland Press Herald calls the ad mostly false, because it misrepresents the legal basis of the case. The inn keepers were sued by ACLU using Vermont’s 1992 public accommodations law, which Maine implemented in 2005. Even if there was no marriage in VT they would have been sued and lost, just like they would in Maine no matter the outcome of the vote. []

  9. says

    It is against our religion to recognize any other religion as genuine, so all you other so-called Christians, and Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, etc., stay away from our inn. We are open to the public, but not to you.

  10. Javier says

    Yep, if someone does not want to host a wedding or reception for interracial couples because of their religious beliefs, the government should not force them. They should have to serve interracial couples at restaurants, clothing stores, etc, but when it comes to forcing people to endorse the very activity that they morally object to, which is what a wedding is about, the government should not force anyone to participate or condone any wedding activity. That is freedom.

  11. Javier says

    AL R, do you think that fine legal distinction will be understood and embraced by the voters, particularly the 10-15 percent swing voters that will decide the referendum? That distinction sure hasn’t worked anywhere else this has been voted on.

  12. JT says

    The Bible tells me that it’s fine to purchase slaves as long as they come from foreign lands, yet when I try to get them to work in my bed and breakfast, the big old government tells me I’m not allowed to do that. My religious freedoms are being trampled on and I’m not ok with that. The government needs to stay out of religion.

  13. says

    I think they just want to get famous. It’s free advertisement for them and for their business when they are in the middle of controversy. Otherwise, they have to spend much more money to promote their business to get the same kind of effect. Maybe their next move is some scandal of gay porn taken place in their room #312 while wife is out shopping, the husband is having the time of his good ol’ life.

  14. Jonathan says

    Javier – what if they don’t like mexicans or Latinos? Should they be allowed to refuse public accommodation? Your arguments are ridiculous and so are you. Either you serve the entire public – or you don’t. Try reading the Vermont public accommodation law before you make a fool of yourself.

  15. BETTY says

    @JAVIER: I don’t feel comfortable doing business with someone who has a spanish sounding name as I don’t know if you are a true Catholic (the only path to heaven as we all know) . See, it sounds just as dumb as them.


  16. Mike in nyc says


    would find a business that didn’t serve
    Jews, blacks or Latinos acceptable?

    Sorry, we don’t sell gas to Mexicans.
    Is that fine? Because using your logic it is.

  17. BETTY says

    Do they ask to see a marriage license before they give a reservation? Do they rent rooms to unmarried couples? Couples who have re-married after a divorce? What about couples who are married to other people looking to take their adultery to the country?

    Their weekend getaway packages must be difficult to market, you know, with them having to kick everyone out on Saturday night in order to be closed on the Sabbath?

  18. says

    Betty, you point out the pious hypocrisy of these folks – they’re only “Christians who care about the bible” when it comes to gays.

    as a friend related to me “my mom is Christian enough to tell me I’m going to hell for being gay but not Christian enough to have actually set foot in a church in the last 35 years.”

    or how the Republicans want “bible-based” laws about social issues, but not fiscal ones, even though that Christ fella was rather clear about what the rich had an obligation to do, in regards to the poor…….

  19. BETTY says

    “Being a family friendly inn brought us to the realization that dogs are part of the family too, so with many requests for accommodating dogs when people travel on vacation, we knew we had to become a dog friendly inn resort.”

    How lovely! Dogs are a welcome part of the family…but apparently the gays aren’t.

    Dog friendly :)
    Gay friendly :(

  20. jeff daglow says

    I am baffled why anyone would want to do business with or stay at a inn that didn’t want them? I wouldn’t. We have a whole lot of beautiful “”gay”” owned and operated Inns in Vermont , which are struggling to stay in business. Why don’t gays support gay businesses? Who want and need the support. I am sorry but it sounds to me a lot like a lotta bad press caused by “” not lesbians or gays “” but a pair of pushy bull dykes looking for an issue.

  21. jeff daglow says

    I am baffled why anyone would want to do business with or stay at a inn that didn’t want them? I wouldn’t. We have a whole lot of beautiful “”gay”” owned and operated Inns in Vermont , which are struggling to stay in business. Why don’t gays support gay businesses? Who want and need the support. I am sorry but it sounds to me a lot like a lotta bad press caused by “” not lesbians or gays “” but a pair of pushy bull dykes looking for an issue.

  22. BETTY says

    Gay dogs don’t exist….they “chose” that lifestyle.

    @JEFF – do you know the particulars behind this case? They probably checked other Inn’s and who knows, maybe they weren’t big enough, close enough, didn’t have enough of the needed ammenities to hold a wedding? There is a whole host of reasons why you choose a venue, not just because they are gay owned (isn’t that reverse discrimination?). When the couple called they wouldn’t have known they were discriminatory until they got the response back. It’s not like the Wildflower Inn’s website says “no gays allowed”.

    So how do we know all the reasons?

  23. says

    The usual idiocy from towleroad accommodationists.

    Here’s the story: Kate and Ming wished to hold their wedding ceremony at a Buddhist retreat in Vermont and have their reception at a nearby inn. Ming’s mother, Channie Peters, contacted the Vermont Convention Bureau to locate a facility and received information on the Wildflower Inn. The 24-room inn described itself as an award-winning resort and an ideal destination-wedding location. Baker and Ming were excited about holding the reception there, but when the events manager learned that the reception was for a lesbian couple, Peters was told that due to the innkeepers’ “personal feelings,” the inn does not host “gay receptions.”

    so the “pushy bull dykes” were not “looking for an issue.”

    The innkeepers CHOSE to discriminate illegally. They broke a law that has been in place in Vermont since 1992 which has no connection to marriage. If they refused to serve two dykes on their first date in their restaurant, it would still be illegal.

  24. says

    Linsley’s mother contacted the Vermont Convention Bureau for help booking a venue for the reception to follow the couple’s Buddhist wedding ceremony.
    The Wildflower Inn — whose website advertises “Four Seasons for Everyone!” — was one of about 10 to respond to a request for proposals, saying it would be “the perfect location” for the 120-guest affair.

  25. ByTheBay says

    Their response to a 1-star TripAdvisor review that claimed they were homophobic drew a response from the owner that swears they’re not.

    He uses Victoria Jackson’s reasoning: they’ve had gay employees and even friends, so how could they be anti-gay?

  26. Javier says

    For one thing, refusal to serve Blacks, Latinos, Jews, and people who have a same-sex orientation is discriminating based on who someone is, which should be illegal. I do not believe it should be legal to discriminate on the basis of mere sexual orientation or sexual identity, the fact that someone is gay, bisexual, or heterosexual in orientation or identity. But this is a story involves the attempt to force a business to sponsor and host particular actions and conduct that violate the owners’ religious conscience. That is going too far. Moreover, if we want progay laws to expand beyond the mere 20 states where they exist, we darn better care about how it plays in the majority of the nation. We are not making much legal headway beyond the 20 states that have such laws, and with such stories like this, we won’t.

  27. BETTY says

    JAVIER: Do they host receptions for people who have divorced and remarried? Do they rent rooms to unmarried couples and adulterers? If you are going to follow your religous dogma, follow it all.

  28. says

    These innkeepers have been in business in VT since the 80s. They know very well that you cannot select out a group of people–whether gay people or black people or Hispanics or whatever–for exclusion from a public service offered to all other guests. They knew the law, and they violated it. They should consider themselves lucky to be allowed to continue their business in VT since they were warned before. This has nothing to do with marriage equality law, only non-discrimination law, and VT values and laws are clear. If the law goes against their personal religious beliefs, it’s up to them to find a solution that is within the law–namely, taking themselves out of the wedding business.

    The fact that they can be bought to do NOM’s dirty work in Maine and try to sell a false bill of goods (that their case is related to Question 1 when it clearly isn’t) only speaks to their lack of VT character.

  29. BETTY says

    JAVIER: their bible says it is perfectly OK to have slaves. Do they make their black guests….well you know where this sentence ends. Do they rent rooms to women who use birth control? How about unmarried couples having pre-marital sex? It’s ridiculous to claim relgious beliefs but not follow ALL of their religion’s beliefs.

  30. Javier says

    Betty, that is perhaps a great theological argument, but I think the government needs to avoid theological disputes and just let people exercise religion freely in their own personal sphere.

  31. says

    It’s not as if Kate and Ming had their hearts set on having their reception at the Wildflower. Jim and Mary O’Reilly were unnecessarily targeted by the state of Vermont and the ACLU.

  32. WOW says

    Boo Hoo Warren are you playing the victim card? I’ve been unecessarliy targeted by the religous conservatives and their GOP lawmakers because I am gay. They broke the law. Works both ways.

  33. says

    @JAVIER: The innkeepers are perfectly free to privately exercise their religious beliefs. They are free to market their business to those like them. But they’re not free to violate VT law, which they have done. There is no exemption in VT law to single out sexual orientation for discrimination because your religion says it’s ok. Doesn’t matter who or what you pray to; keep your personal prejudices out of the public sphere or do your business elsewhere. They’re not forced to hold weddings at the inn. That was their choice, and once they chose to do so, they can’t say you are not welcome there.

    You can argue this from a public relations standpoint re: how anti-gay forces might fraudulently but successfully affect a ME ballot initiative that has no relation to the case, but there is no ambiguity in VT law, as the innkeepers fully knew and ignored.

  34. Mark Alan says

    There is nothing worse than shedding light on ignorant people. As a Vermonter their public ignorance is an embarrassment to this incredible state where acceptance is sublime and cultivated.

  35. Javier says

    Although I am all about principle (and the US Constitution) above all else when it comes to legal matters, perhaps I will see it your way tactically if the Maine ballot initiative has a positive outcome, as well as gay rights in other states in general. If it hurts us tactically and politically, I definitely can’t be for it.

  36. anon says

    I don’t see any inconsistencies here. They didn’t like the lesbian wedding and they don’t want to legalize same-sex marriage. They lost the case too, so they can’t make an argument like “this will change the public accommodation law”. The amendment won’t affect public accommodation laws.

  37. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Little Kiwi: There are some fringe elements of the Religious Right who are taking proof texting to heights previously unimaginable. All of the following supposedly have explicit Biblical support:

    no welfare
    no foreign aid (except Israel)
    no progressive taxation
    no capital gains tax
    no estate tax
    no minimum wage
    no equal pay laws
    no fair trade practices
    no socialism
    no unions
    no government regulations
    free-market capitalism
    tax exemptions for churches

    BTW – here’s a non-economic one I like:
    DNA evidence is a Biblical concept

  38. scotsyank says

    When will the commentors on this site learn to ignore trolls? I know of no other blog on any topic that so allows itself to be so taken over by troll comments.
    Trolls feel free to correct my spelling mistake. It’s there for you.

  39. BETTY says

    What would they do if a company didn’t want to do business with them because they didn’t like their religion? Would they sqwak about that? What would the Inn owners do if they frequented a business and found out the owners were gay? Would they return the items purchased? What if it was one of their suppliers?

  40. says

    Like I said, @Javier, it can be argued from a strategic standpoint that suing bigot business owners is bad for our cause, because people are either too ignorant to understand that this has nada to do with marriage or are so anti-gay that such suits build animosity against our side, but it can’t be argued from either a legal or moral standpoint that the innkeepers have a special right to discriminate because they are religious, not in VT. They are wrong, period. And they are tarnishing our state brand.

    Likewise, a gay B&B owner might not want evangelicals holding a wedding celebration under his roof, but–aside from using the free speech right to express his belief that evangelicals are sinful or that the facility might not fit their needs–he would be obligated to welcome them, which is how it should be.

  41. Patrick says

    LMAO! *sigh* Their religious beliefs are not being violated. If you own a business that is open to the public, you cannot deny people anything that goes against what the law says. If you do, you can and will be violated in the court system. They need to stop their business if they do not like it, plain and simple, so say I, and I am right. Plain and simple.

  42. says

    To those who say the O’Reillys should not be forced to host weddings or receptions that violate their religious beliefs: They’re not being forced to do so. No one held a gun to their head and said they had to go into the business of running a public accommodation. Don’t want to comply with the state’s non-discrimination laws? Great. Find another way to make a living, one that doesn’t violate the law or your religious beliefs.

  43. gayalltheway says

    When you are running a business that is catered to the public, then you simply cannot discriminate. Why is it ok for people to deny service to LGBTs by claiming that it violates their religious belief BUT it is NOT OK to deny service to racial minority groups in the same manner? What if I open a restaurant and I refuse service to Asians because it goes against my religious belief? OK?

  44. Don says

    These people are duplicitous at best. 1. They willingly settled out of court because they knew they were violating the law. Notice how that little tidbit isn’t mentioned. 2. They agreed and accepted the fact that they willfully violated the law. 3. The claim they can no longer host weddings at their establishment, which implies that they are being banned from hosting weddings. Not true, the chose to not host weddings so they would not have to host same-couples. There’s a big difference between being forced into doing something and choosing not to do something. In this case it’s not even a partial truth, it’s an outright lie.

  45. NewtoMaine says

    This is what I’d expect from Maine … and the innkeepers from VT shouldn’t be …. they obviously feel they know what others (including God) don’t. God is too big to fit in just one religion. They deserved a higher fine, and they should have been shut down, not just banned from holding weddings.

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